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Book Review: Best Books on WW1
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Best Books

While I have read quite a few books on WW1, only a couple really “stand out”:

Niall Ferguson (1998) – The Pity of War: Explaining World War I [download] does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation.

For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for the conflict at the outset seems to be pretty much false. This was also the book that introduced me to the work of Dupuy et al., who have calculated that the Germans were consistently much more combat effective than the Anglo-French forces; conversely, he also very effectively shows why the war was lost for Germany after the end of the Spring Offensive.

One need not always buy into his arguments – ironically, I am rather skeptical of his “Anglophobic” thesis that it was England most at fault for making WW1 into the carnage it was – but his counterintuitive takes strike home sufficiently frequently to justify this as a must-read in addition to the more conventional histories.

Barbara Tuchman (1962) – The Guns of August [download] may not be the most groundbreaking WW1 book, but it may well be the best from a literary perspective. Seriously, just read her opening paragraph:

So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens – four dowager and three regnant – and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.

Whether one agrees with her thesis that it was Germany that was overwhelmingly culpable or not – though I suppose it helps that I do – her skill at bringing the increasingly agitated diplomatic activity in the buildup to the war and the military maneuvers in its first few months is unrivalled. This is history that reads like fiction, and I mean that in a good sense.

Articles

I haven’t written too much about WW1, but here a couple of the more notable posts:

***

Biggest Winner

The US. And Romania.

Biggest Loser

Russia:

“Surely to no nation has Fate been more malignant than to Russia. Her ship went down in sight of port. She had actually weathered the storm when all was cast away. Every sacrifice had been made; the toil was achieved. Despair and Treachery usurped command at the very moment when the task was done.” – Winston Churchill

Today’s Relevance

Mostly irrelevant, actually. There’s no comparable webs of alliances. The relative importance of gross industrial production (vs. technology) is far, far lower. Nationalism is now mostly exclusionist, not expansionist.

However, one thing that is still relevant is that globalization is no guarantee that there will be no war (an argument frequently made re-the US and China). World trade was comparable as a percentage of GDP in 1914 to today’s levels.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Books, Military, Review, World War I 
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  1. Today’s relevance is in fact large.

    WW1 effectively broke the British Empire by making the white dominions set on independence.

    WW1 caused the horror of world communism.

    WW1 half-broke Germany and inspired its final destruction in WW2.

    France was forever ruined.

    America set upon its disastrous path to empire.

    The world was ruined in 1914.

  2. “Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea” by Robert K. Massie is one of the best on WWI

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @LondonBob
  3. AP says:

    Ernst Junger’s book about his experiences, Storm of Steel, is a great counterpoint to Remarque’s more popular work, but get an older edition before certain parts were edited out.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Thorfinnsson
  4. songbird says:

    For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for the conflict at the outset seems to be pretty much false.

    The Christmas Truce happened in 1914.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  5. utu says:

    I also read these two books and if I remember correctly the educated classes were enthusiastic in the UK.

  6. Interestingly, Barbara Tuchman was the granddaughter of Henry Morgenthau Sr., Wilson’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and niece of Henry Morgenthau Jr., of Morgenthau Plan fame.

    • Replies: @republic
  7. @AP

    get an older edition before certain parts were edited out.

    Would you mind elaborating? I remember hearing about how the newer versions were edited but I am not sure what was changed.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @AP
    , @benjaminl
  8. songbird says:
    @Hyperborean

    I vaguely recall something to do with him killing an American up close which would probably be one, but it’s been many years since I read it.

  9. @AP

    Superb book.

    Niall Ferguson’s book was influential on me as well. I believe I read it in 2004 when I was a young man.

    • Replies: @Vendetta
  10. AP says:
    @Hyperborean

    The part that stands out is a sort of mystical poetic passage at the end after he describes the final offensive (my memory about it is a bit fuzzy, it’s been about two decades). I had read the book as an undergraduate from the university library where they had an old edition, when I ordered it a few years ago on amazon I was disappointed that this part which I had liked back then was no longer there. Ugly reminder of mid 20th century European mentality?

    I think there was more but this stood out. It’s still good and worth reading without censored parts.

  11. Mr. Hack says:

    I’m reading Timothy Snyder’s ‘The Red Prince The Selected Lives of a Habsburg Archduke’ right now. Although the scope of the book extends beyond WW1 to the interwar period, it does offer some interesting glimpses of the political alignments of all of the players involved. I wouldn’t recommend that Thorfinnsson read this book, for a good part of it involves Austria’s involvement in Ukraine vis-a-vis Russia too. (Hack’s Law in play for Snyder too). :-)

  12. Whether one agrees with her thesis that it was Germany that was overwhelmingly culpable or not – though I suppose it helps that I do

    How surprising. I guess common hostility to Germany is one of those things Russians and Anglo-Americans will always agree on, despite their occasional spats.
    Anyway, “best” books on WW1 from my perspective (clearly influenced by my own biases, I’ll readily admit that):
    Christopher Clark, The sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914: a somewhat revisionist account of the July crisis. Clark has been accused of pro-German bias (his wife is German, so there may be some personal reasons for that), but imo he doesn’t exculpate the German leadership in 1914, it’s still clear that they acted recklessly and irresponsibly and missed several opportunities to defuse the crisis. His account doesn’t absolve the other actors of responsibility though (and yes, Russia looks especially bad in that regard, as it should imo) and makes clear that German perceptions of reality in 1914 (a hostile bloc encircling Germany and trying to humiliate her only ally Austria-Hungary) were fundamentally correct.
    Holger Afflerbach, Auf Messers Schneide: Wie das deutsche Reich den ersten Weltkrieg verlor (On knife’s edge: How imperial Germany lost WW1), published in March 2018. One of the most gripping books I’ve read in the last few years, Afflerbach’s book deals with the entirety of WW1 from a German perspective, including ususally neglected topics like the Italian front and events in the Balkans. He doesn’t deny German responsibility (together with Russia and Austria-Hungary) for the outbreak of WW1 and acknowledges the serious war crimes committed by German forces in Belgium and the wide-ranging demands for annexations by influential ultra-nationalist lobby groups…but his account is revisionist insofar as he points out the war crimes and imperialist designs of the allied powers as well. His most explosive thesis is that the German military and political leadership would have been willing to accept a negotiated end to the war from quite early on and that German offers for peace negotiations in 1916 and 1917 were serious (even if proposed in a rather clumsy way), but rejected by political elites in France and especially Britain who wanted to end the war with a total defeat of imperial Germany, with disastrous consequences for the later history of 20th century Europe. He also thinks that the outcome of the war was open for a long time; Germany’s fatal mistake in his opinion was the adoption of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 which caused the US to enter the war.
    Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an English translation of this book so far, even though Afflerbach is professor at the university of Leeds and has published a lot in English (and who knows if there will be one, given how emotive much of British public is over WW1, there may not be a market for it).

    Articles: Alexander Watson, Unheard-of Brutality”: Russian Atrocities against Civilians in East Prussia, 1914–1915, in: The Journal of Modern History 86, no. 4 (December 2014): 780-825. This examines German claims about Russian war crimes during the invasion of East Prussia in 1914 and comes to the conclusion that there’s a substantial factual basis to those claims. German conduct in Belgium may still be considered as worse in some ways (invasion of a neutral state, executions of civilian hostages, including women and children in some cases), but it wasn’t as unique as is commonly claimed.

    If one is primarily interested in military aspects, the first volume of the Cambridge History of the first world war is decent enough imo (the chapter by Paul Kennedy about the war at sea is pathetic though, makes me wonder how this guy achieved distinction as a historian).

  13. @Thorfinnsson

    Essentially you’re right. If one or more of the major powers had avoided WWII, there might have been a glimmer of hope for at least a part of the West. This was not to be.

    • Replies: @songbird
  14. @German_reader

    I think I’m well known here as a Germanophile. Perhaps even more Germanophile than you despite it not being my country.

    But I agree that Germany has the main responsibility for WW1. Though Britain would have to be a very close second.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @AP
    , @DFH
  15. @Thorfinnsson

    But I agree that Germany has the main responsibility for WW1. Though Britain would have to be a very close second.

    I disagree completely. Russia is most culpable imo, they backed up Serbia (which before had seriously considered accepting the Austrian demands – which were reasonable given the magnitude of the crime), which meant there would be an Austrian-Serbian war (admittedly something many Austrians wanted). Russia was the first great power to commit to general mobilization, this made all but certain that there wouldn’t be just a limited Balkan war, but a general European war.
    Britain did contribute to the formation of the alliance system which made war more likely in 1914, and Grey and his Foreign office clique were intensely anti-German. But as regards the July crisis, Britain was the least culpable great power imo (I’d rank responsibility as Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Britain).

  16. @Thorfinnsson

    Oh, I agree it’s extremely relevant in a world-historical sense, but is not so relevant to today’s realities.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  17. @Anatoly Karlin

    The international arena today increasingly resembles that of pre-1914.

    I think it’s likely we’ll have another world war in the next decade.

  18. songbird says:
    @Verymuchalive

    Sweden stayed out of both world wars, which makes me think that they don’t explain what happened to the West at all. And America, at least by way of comparison to other Western countries, was not deeply affected. If it was simply destruction, you would expect the most damaged countries to be the most deeply pozzed.

    The standard thinking is totally wrong.

    In fact, one of the results of WW2 was that over 100 million in Eastern and Central Europe were forcefully brought under Communism. This may have even been a net positive in the battle against globohomo.

  19. Epigon says:

    @German_reader

    Austro-Hungary had been preparing for a punitive war against Serbia since 1905. – AU Chief of Staff responsible for the war plan was sacked afterwards but reinstated immediately before the war.

    Serbia practically accepted (only one subclause was changed, a token in reality) the ultimatum Austro-Hungary purposely drafted to be insulting and to be outright refused – it caught them by surprise, but Serbia was nowhere near the shape to fight a war – the government was in upheaval, there wasn’t even a budget voted, and the Balkan wars left their mark on society and army.

    Ignoring the 1903 coup with very shady – Freemason+Anglo backing that toppled pro-Austrian Obrenović dynasty and imposed Anglo-Freemason vermin Karađorđević, the 1905-1906 tarrifs war between Serbia and Austro-Hungary (ironically resolved by Serbia turning to Germany for help!) is an obvious failure on your part.

    Black Hand were fifth column, that much is certain – Britain protested vehemently once its leader was executed by Serbia. Framing a bunch of Bosnian “Serbs” and Muslims as agents of Serbia is a joke – they were retarded Yugoslav ideology zealots used as pawns.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  20. It’s worth reading some first-hand, non-fiction, accounts to get a feel for the period – Robert Graves’ “Goodbye to All That”, for example.

    What Russian equivalents would you recommend? Konstantin Paustovsky’s “Story of a Life” gives a civillian perspective.

    • Replies: @Squiffy
  21. dearieme says:

    “Mud, Blood, and Poppycock” by Gordon Corrigan is a very good read.

    For the long lead-up look at “Dreadnought” by Robert K. Massie.

    • Replies: @Prester John
    , @Aslangeo
  22. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    Abandoning Bismarck’s balance of power principle and wise diplomacy and managing to unite Britain and Russia on the same side is an accomplishment by itself.

    Arrogance, stupidity, incompetence – you name it.

    Ranting about limited wars and blaming Russia for not allowing its regional ally to be annihilated (it actually did get annihilated, with 1.2 million dead Serbs in WW1), the same Balkan people the Great powers fucked over bigly! since 1853, 1878, 1908, 1912-1913 is entertaining.

    There is something repulsive among Germans – whether one looks at Hegel, Engels, Bismarck, Liebknecht or Naumann – this ingrained idea of superiority and manifest destiny to enslave and erase Slavs and dominate Europe from Baltic to Black Sea. Such sentiments led to Slavs violently pushing back.

    • Replies: @Anon
  23. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Britain is to blame for making the world a worse place because they had little moral reason to be involved and because if not for them the right side would haver won and the war would ended earlier, saving millions of European lives. And ironically Britain itself would have ben better off if it had stayed out. It would have had millions of more young people and its Empire.

    Russia chose to come to aid of a regicidal regime whose elements committed a vile act of terror and turned what should have been a limited conflict (like the US invasion of Afghanistan) into a world war.

    Its seems blasphemous to say this, but there seems to be some sort of cruel Old Testament divine justice at work. The Tsar went to war to support a regicide, and was himself murdered with his family. The regicidal regime and its people probably suffered the most deaths per capita in that war. The people of the Russian Empire overthrew their ruler and were passive when the new rulers looted the churches and murdered the priests, and themselves were killed by the millions. The killers were themselves cruelly liquidated in waves of purges. The country whose destiny would have been to liberate Constantinople, rule the Earth’s’ center and probably the globe, was forced into playing the role of foil in an American century instead, and stumbled into second-tier status and probably eventually a satrapy of China.

  24. republic says:
    @for-the-record

    Morgenthau was the United States Ambassador to the Sublime Porte. Which is the correct usage for that time period.

    He also was the first prominent American to draw the world’s attention to the ongoing Armenian massacre

  25. Epigon says:
    @AP

    UK orchestrated the war to defeat the challenger.
    The leader/hegemon has to make sure to defeat the upstarts.
    Napoleon was defeated through a coalition, the awakened German Reich had caught up and was threatening UK global position – so it had to be dealt with.

    UK had laid the foundations of conflicts through their actions and decisions in 1853, 1878, 1908 and 1912-1913.

    Russians had learned that Germany and Austria were not to be trused at all – Habsburgs betrayed them already in 1853 even though Russians saved their ass in 1848-1849, and the rapidly strengthening Germany could see the continuation of Drang nach Osten that Russians dreaded – The Three-Emperor pact was a failure.

    On the hand – Germany was running against the clock – the same way as in WW2. There was a clear opportunity considering the condition of France and Russia, but the prospects would be far worse in the future. So it was do or die – a modified Schlieffen plan that failed because Russians mobilised too efficiently and too much forces had to be diverted.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @DFH
  26. @AP

    This sounds like you would be willing to be a proud Russian if only things had gone differently.

    Proving Karlin’s point, no?

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AP
  27. Epigon says:

    1. Franz Ferdinand was not the ruler
    2. Serbia did not organise or support the assassination
    3. The assassination was a pointless act geopolitically speaking, and the entire affair is often glossed over – the crappy security, the oblivious drivers, the series of “accidents” – seriously, after a bomb attempt, you drive around and stop right in front of a crowd containing the assassin?
    4. Did you forget the Cui bono principle? Assassinating the shitty, disliked heir married with a low-status woman for absolutely no gain, only to brand your country as terrorists and expose the Serbs of Austro-Hungary to even worse repression – there were more Serbs in AU than in Serbia back then.
    5. The leader of Black Hand was executed for treason by Serbia in 1917., against wild protests of United Kingdom – the same person orchestrated 1903 coup and reportedly Franz Ferdinand assassination.

    Austro-Hungary was a shitty, dysfunctional oppresive state with ridiculous amount of Jewish power – Budapest and Vienna being exemplary cases, and regional seats of Bratislava and Zagreb cementing it.
    The armed forces fared spectacularly poor against a much smaller and poorer adversary, while harboring delusions about ruling eastern and southeastern Europe, scheming and positioning to do so.
    It is downright ludicrous to consider that Serbia wanted the war against AU after fighting Balkan wars – the population, economy, military power comparison couldn’t be more straight.

  28. fnn says:

    Anyone read How Diplomats Make War, by Francis Neilson? One of Moldbug’s favorites.

  29. @songbird

    Sweden is a tiny country which is swept up in the tides of history that happen elsewhere.

    The lasting effect if WWI was that the old ruling class of Europe was discredited everywhere. Before the war they had tremendous prestige and self-confidence. After the war they were ridiculed – by the working class socialists, and by the new money cosmopolitan elite.

    This may have happened anyway, but the war speeded it up by decades, at least.

    Read Stefan Zweig’s “The World of Yesterday”, or watch the excellent film, “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” for (an admittedly exaggerated) idea of the pre-war European society’s stability.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Bliss
  30. @Epigon

    Serbia practically accepted (only one subclause was changed, a token in reality) the ultimatum Austro-Hungary

    They rejected the Austrian demand for an Austrian inquiry within Serbia. Now this demand certainly was incompatible with full Serbian sovereignty…but the Serbian state had forfeited any rights to full sovereignty by its support or at least tolerance of anti-Austrian terrorism (Franz Ferdinand’s assassins had been trained and equipped by Serbian intelligence services, that is beyond doubt; the only question is how much civilian politicians knew about this). There was no reason, why the Austrians should have trusted Serbia to carry out a real inquiry (insteand of one intended to cover up the full extent of the responsibility of the Serbian state).

    • Replies: @Epigon
  31. @AP

    Its seems blasphemous to say this, but there seems to be some sort of cruel Old Testament divine justice at work.

    It’s something I have speculated about myself; perhaps it’s as strong a “proof” of God’s existence as any.

    The people who murdered the Tsar in turn lost their firstborn sons to the WW2 meat-grinder (or more; it wiped out 40% of the 20-40 y/o male cohort). And even there it was the White areas (e.g. Siberia) that suffered relatively less.

    Poetically, the Jews and Balts paid an extremely heavy price for their disproportionate contribution to the murder of God’s representative on Earth; I think Ashkenazi Jews, Latvians, and Estonians are unique in that there are today fewer of them than in 1918.

    (Though there are wrinkles in the theory. Not sure what the Armenians did wrong. Or the Irish, for that matter).

    Anyhow, if this theory is true, one wonders about the blood price that God will exact of Western Europeans for their disbelief and waging war against Him.

  32. AP says:
    @Epigon

    I agree with you about Britain being culpable not only for making the war longer and for the wrong side to win, but also that it was happy to have continental Europeans slaughter each other so no one country became powerful enough to challenge Britain’s (fading) power. In modern terms, it would be like the USA manipulating a war involving China, Russia, India, Europe, whoever, and helping the weaker side to prevent the stronger from winning.

    But Russia did not have to take the bait, it did not have to turn a just and limited punishment of Serbia into a world war.

    the rapidly strengthening Germany could see the continuation of Drang nach Osten that Russians dreaded

    Russia was strengthening more rapidly than was Germany. Another 20 years and Russia would have been unstoppable, and Germany would have come to terms with Russia on conditions that would have been friendly to Russia.

    On the hand – Germany was running against the clock

    Correct. It is not without guilt. This is why even though Austria-Hungary was justified in its treatment of Serbia, Germany did not stop it. But its posture was in essence defensive. If Russia had not mobilized to crush Austria-Hungary, Germany would not have been at war.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Epigon
  33. @AP

    but also that it was happy to have continental Europeans slaughter each other so no one country became powerful enough to challenge Britain’s (fading) power.

    I have a mostly negative view of Britain’s role in WW1, but there is no basis for such a statement imo. Britain did raise mass armies and introduced conscription (something unprecedented in British history), and its forces suffered horrendous casualties (almost 20 000 dead on the first day at the Somme). It would have been strange for Britons to feel any happiness about the carnage of WW1, since it killed hundreds of thousands of their own countrymen.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @LondonBob
  34. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    They rejected the Austrian demand for an Austrian inquiry within Serbia.

    No, the 6th clause demanded Austro-Hungarian law and order organs presiding over the trials of suspects on Serbian territory.
    Serbia had immediately arrested Tankosić while Ciganović was in flight. The suspects claimed they were working behind the backs of governments – A-H claimed that Serbian border officials passed the ammunition and assassins.
    Serbia accepted every other clause, 9 of them, and proposed instead that Hague Court should arbitrate the affair between Austro-Hungary and Kingdom of Serbia.

    Serbian response was surprising and it ammounted to a capitulation – something Kaiser Wilhelm II noted himself. But Austro-Hungary was just looking for an excuse to start the war anyway.

    but the Serbian state had forfeited any rights to full sovereignty by its support or at least tolerance of anti-Austrian terrorism

    Like Italy did with their assassination? Funny, no outrage over those.

    (Franz Ferdinand’s assassins had been trained and equipped by Serbian intelligence services, that is beyond doubt; the only question is how much civilian politicians knew about this).

    Gavrilo himself visited London twice before the assassination. The organiser you quote was Dimitrijević Apis, who also organised the 1903 coup (bankrolled by Georg Weifert) which resulted in pro-Austrian monarchs and their families mutilated and the loot, including rings from monarch’s dead bodies, auctioned off in London.

    The same bloke was executed in 1917 by Serbia on account of treason. UK protested wildly.

    There was no reason, why the Austrians should have trusted Serbia to carry out a real inquiry (insteand of one intended to cover up the full extent of the responsibility of the Serbian state).

    You are framing Austro-Hungary as some innocent bystander. In 1878 they invaded Bosnia and Herzegovina and were given a 30 year mandate at Berlin. In 1908 they annexed the province and started various repressive acts.
    As I have already stated, ever since 1903 anti-Austrian coup in Serbia and 1905 Customs War between Austria and Serbia, they were longing for a war. The war plan was initially drafted in 1905/1906, resived and improved. Hoetzendorf, the proponent of pre-emptive wars against Italy and Serbia, was sacked briefly from Chief of staff, but was reinstated following 1911-1912 crisis period.

  35. Epigon says:
    @AP

    If Russia had not mobilized to crush Austria-Hungary, Germany would not have been at war.

    Russian prestige was at stake here. Not only prestige, but international standing.
    Russian allies and clients were given a rough handling by other Great Powers and Russia failed to protect them.
    Bulgarians and Serbs suffered first from Anglo-French-Sardinian involvement in the Russian war to remove Ottomans from Balkans in 1853-1856.
    Afterwards, the Bulgaria of San Stefano was dismantled at Berlin congress in 1878, and Serbia was stripped of its gains.
    In 1908, Austro-Hungary annexed Bosnia & Herzegovina directly violating the 1878 Berlin Congress treaty, and went away with it.
    In 1912-1913 London Conference, great powers tried their best to prevent Balkan League from succeeding, eventually forming Albania out of thin air, getting an Ottoman pasha to rule it and issuing an ultimatum to Montenegro and Serbia.
    At the same time, goading erstwhile allies of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia to war over Thrace and Strymon Macedonia (present day FYROM/North Macedonia), and giving Ottomans a saving grace.

    Russian allies suffered at each instance, and Russia was in no position to gamble anymore after humiliation of Russo-Japanese Wars. What kind of a Great Power and an ally is Russia if it can’t exert any pressure or protect any of its allies and goals?

    Furthermore, you are omitting the fact that Russians sent guarantees to Germany they are issuing limited mobilization aimed against Austro-Hungarian prospective aggression against Serbia. And the Serbian response to the ultimatum was commented by Wilhelm II in a favourable way. But Germany also must have stood by its allies, because it couldn’t be too picky (Italy backstabbed, Ottomans and Bulgarians were a sideshow).
    That the Austro-Hungarians decided against the then-already adopted way of resolving differences at Hague international court is telling.

    To be honest, I can’t see Russia ever surpassing or beating 2nd Reich. 2nd Reich was really the epitome of scientific and engineering advance, efficiency and inovation. Combined with strong demographics and national spirit, pride.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  36. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    This sounds like you would be willing to be a proud Russian if only things had gone differently.

    I probably would not have existed, because one of my grandparents from a village a couple hours from Kiev and the others were from Galicia.

    The ideal resolution to the war would have German victory in late 1917 – Ukraine’s unnatural link to Eurasia severed, the right side winning the war, Bolshevism in Russia probably exchanged for a pro-German reactionary regime before it could do more damage to Russia and its people.

    But this would not have been worth the millions lost in 1914-1917.

    The best situation of all would therefore have been no war. I don’t know how the Ukrainian situation would have been resolved in the Russian Empire, maybe it would have been a simmering powder-keg or maybe Ukrainians would have become Bavarians to Moscow’s Prussians (Bolsheviks not Tsars linguistically Russified the people of Ukraine). In Galicia, Ukrainian culture would have advanced at a strong pace in its conservative middle-European form. The Hapsburgs would have fulfilled their role in bringing civilization to the Balkans (no coincidence that probably the greatest Serb ever, Tesla, was an Austrian Serb). Russia would have played a similar role in the Caucuses and Asia, and native Russian birth rates plus tens of millions not lost to war, civil war, and famine would have been high enough that this would not have been a problem. After Wilhelm there would probably have been another Holy Alliance between the monarchies, closely matched but with Russia inevitably eventually playing a leading role due to its size, population and development.

    Anyways, I am off to spend the weekend with old college friends so may not post for the next couple of days.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mr. XYZ
  37. @Epigon

    No, the 6th clause demanded Austro-Hungarian law and order organs presiding over the trials of suspects on Serbian territory.

    Text of the Austrian ultimatum:

    https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/The_Austro-Hungarian_Ultimatum_to_Serbia_(The_German_original)

    https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/The_Austro-Hungarian_Ultimatum_to_Serbia_(English_translation)

    6. eine gerichtliche Untersuchung gegen jene Teilnehmen des Komplotts vom 28. Juni einzuleiten, die sich auf serbischem Territorium befinden; von der k. und k. Regierung hiezu delegierte Organe werden an den bezüglichen Erhebungen teilnehmen,

    Erhebungen is translated as proceedings in the English version, imo inquiries would be more accurate. Judging from the text, I don’t think this can be read as Austrian officials “presiding” over trials in Serbia, it’s a demand for the participation of Austrian officials in the inquiries (based on the reasonable belief that the Serbs would cover up the full extent of the conspiracy if they could).

    Like Italy did with their assassination?

    Don’t know what’s that supposed to refer to (the assassination of the Yugoslav king in 1934? That’s hardly relevant imo).

    Gavrilo himself visited London twice before the assassination.

    That sounds exceedingly unlikely, what’s your evidence for this?

    In 1908 they annexed the province and started various repressive acts.

    We won’t come to an agreement about this, but imo Austrian rule in Bosnia was quite benevolent. Serbian forces had committed numerous atrocities during and after the Balkan wars which could be reasonably described as ethnic cleansing; and Serbia was just a very retrograde place in general. The enlightened rule of Austria-Hungary was far preferable.
    I admit though that the Austrians were too eager for a war against Serbia in 1914, they should have been more restrained, despite the serious provocation.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @SveVid
  38. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    British casualties were small in comparison to German, French and Russian.
    Even better, the war was taking place in foreign lands, so Britain suffered negligible devastation.
    Meanwhile, German and Austrian citizens were starved, France battlefields were a hellscape and Russia was nearing the breakpoint.

    Furthermore, the opportunity presented itself – the preservation of British Empire and global hegemony fought by mostly non-British peoples against the challenger.

    The stakes were very high, and worth the losses in manpower and material.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Matra
  39. @Epigon

    Russian prestige was at stake here. Not only prestige, but international standing.

    Serbia was insignificant, not really important to any Russian core interests…whereas Austria-Hungary was Germany’s only reliable ally (Austrians are also the close ethnic kin of Germans – in fact were regarded as Germans back then – which Serbs aren’t in relations to Russians). It Austria-Hungary had been defeated by Russia, Germany would have been completely isolated…whereas a defeat of Serbia wouldn’t really have damaged Russia much.

    Furthermore, you are omitting the fact that Russians sent guarantees to Germany they are issuing limited mobilization

    Since they were the first great power to adopt full-scale mobilization, those assurances turned out to be completely meaningless.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  40. @Epigon

    so Britain suffered negligible devastation.

    The German navy shelled some British seaside towns, and Zeppelins bombed London, so that’s not completely true.
    I don’t think there was a conspiracy by Britain (or any other power) to deliberately start WW1.

    • Replies: @neutral
  41. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    Don’t know what’s that supposed to refer to (the assassination of the Yugoslav king in 1934? That’s hardly relevant imo).

    Empress Elizabeth was assassinated in 1898.

    That sounds exceedingly unlikely, what’s your evidence for this?

    Will track down this claim, can’t remember where exactly I have read it. The pistol is preserved and kept in London today, too.

    but imo Austrian rule in Bosnia was quite benevolent.

    You view the initial invasion and tens of thousands of dead and many expelled, followed by martial law, violent expropriations and forced import of “colonist” populations of AH subjects as enlightened?
    Forced assimilation and failed creation of “Bosniak” nation of three faiths under Benjamin Kallay?

    Serbian forces had committed numerous atrocities during and after the Balkan wars which could be reasonably described as ethnic cleansing

    You are quotting the works of Trotsky himself (in Vienna and Sofia in 1913), operating as part of Austrian propaganda during the entirety of war.
    You are also quoting the widely spread, but also debunked claims of the first Communist of Serbia, Dimitrije Tucović. Both him and Trotsky reported on mass crimes they were not present at, and which were decisively debunked using primary sources, witness accounts and demography-census data.

    The enlightened rule of Austria-Hungary was far preferable.

    The enlightened rule of Austria-Hungary equated to a Habsburg-Catholic tyranny supressing other people giving Hungarians their share of pie to Magyarize some, while delivering everyone to Jewish exploitation. Austro-Hungary was such a nice place that in 1913 Vienna saw Tito, Trotsky, Freud and Stalin. It was Austro-Hungary that supported Bolsheviks in their quest for power in Russia, and I believe they were the first to propose the utilization of “Russian” emigrees to effect it.

    It also regarded Dalmatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina as its colonies, and treated the people there accordingly. It was so nice, that the englightened rule of Dalmatia resulted in the mass exodus of Croats to USA and South America.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  42. songbird says:
    @jimmyriddle

    My impression of Sweden is that it was about the first country in the West to be truly pozzed. If it was swept up, I think it would not have been leading the trend but rather lagging.

    IMO, the aristocracy was doomed by prosperity, which is arguably part of the reason it never formed in the US. You can actually see the spirit of classless egalitarianism quite a bit before the war in Europe. There was an exuberance for public education and a great delusion about how it would equalize society.

    Thanks for the recommendations by the way.

  43. @songbird

    As jimmyriddle has written, Sweden was and is not a major power. Since the 1930s, it has followed a form of Socialism that has led to a Dead End, literally as well as metaphorically. Apart from a couple of microstates, the only other parts of Europe to avoid WWI and II are Spain and Switzerland. The Spanish Civil War finished the former off. The latter is too small and particularist to have any real influence.

  44. DFH says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Though Britain would have to be a very close second.

    In what possible way? Britain was trying to defuse the crisis

  45. @Epigon

    Empress Elizabeth was assassinated in 1898.

    That was just some lone anarchist, there was never any suggestion that the Italian state had anything to do with it (in fact the Italian king was also murdered by an anarchist just a few years later).

    You are quotting the works of Trotsky himself

    iirc there was an international commission that concluded Serb forces had committed significant war crimes during the Balkan wars of 1912/13:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Report_of_the_International_Commission_on_the_Balkan_Wars

    Its report can be read here:

    https://archive.org/details/reportofinternat00inteuoft/page/n3

    It has of course to be admitted that Austrian-Hungarian forces were pretty brutal too during the campaigns against Serbia in WW1.

    It was so nice, that the englightened rule of Dalmatia resulted in the mass exodus of Croats to USA and South America.

    I don’t know, my impression is that many Croatians liked Serbian rule after 1918 less than Austrian-Hungarian rule, but maybe I’m mistaken.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  46. DFH says:
    @German_reader

    Britain did contribute to the formation of the alliance system

    How? Britain was the last great power to join an alliance

    • Replies: @German_reader
  47. @AP

    Bavarians and Prussians together in one country sounds like a happy outcome.

    I realize you cannot admit this yourself, but it sounds more and more like Russians and Ukrainians are in fact one people separated by tragic circumstances.

    And unlike many Ukrainians today, you seem to genuinely care for Russia.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    , @AP
  48. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    Serbia was insignificant, not really important to any Russian core interests…

    Serbia by itself, no. Montenegro and especially Bulgaria back then, and Balkans as whole – very much important.
    Serbia even today controls the Danube and Morava valley. Two crucial transport routes.
    Warm water Mediterranean ports and control of Bosphorus and Dardanelles were ultimate Russian goals in 19th century. Ergo sponsorship of Balkan Christians.
    Meanwhile, Germans viewed Balkans as an important region to control due to Berlin-Baghdad route.

    It Austria-Hungary had been defeated by Russia, Germany would have been completely isolated

    Being allied with Italy and Austro-Hungary at the same time turned out marvelously.

    whereas a defeat of Serbia wouldn’t really have damaged Russia much.

    So the removal of last Russian ally in the Balkans and the end of Russian ambitions in the region wouldn’t have damaged Russia?
    How do you explain the present-day Russian efforts aimed at Serbia?

    Here’s an alternative policy proposal for Germany: adopt Grossdeutschland programme, ally with Italy and seek to extinguish the crappy Austro-Hungarian Empire. Germany gets all South German areas, Bohemia and Moravia probably as well. Italy gets Trieste, Istria, most of east Adriatic. Hungary becomes an independent nation in wider that present borders and a German ally.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  49. DFH says:
    @Epigon

    UK orchestrated the war to defeat the challenger.

    Classic anti-anglo fantasism. In fact Britain had nothing to do with the formation of the French/Russian axis and in 1900 had offered Germany an alliance

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @Thorfinnsson
  50. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:
    @Epigon

    It’s called Christianity

  51. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    That was just some lone anarchist, there was never any suggestion that the Italian state had anything to do with it (in fact the Italian king was also murdered by an anarchist just a few years later).

    The same people you accuse of orchestrating the assassination of Franz Ferdinand had murdered the Serbian monarchs and their families in 1903.

    I don’t know, my impression is that many Croatians liked Serbian rule after 1918 less than Austrian-Hungarian rule, but maybe I’m mistaken.

    That’s the current spin. In reality, things were quite different, especially in some regions. The Croatian Parliament called upon Serbian Army to institute law and order because demobilised soldiers and bandits roamed the countryside.
    Croatia and Slavonian were under Budapest – part of Hungary in Austro-Hungary. Dalmatia was under Vienna, in Austrian part.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t Serbian rule. But that is altogether different issue. Which resulted in disgusting Yugoslavism morphing into Yugocommieslavism.

  52. @Epigon

    Montenegro and especially Bulgaria back then

    Bulgaria was a German ally in WW1.
    I don’t see how Montenegro could be important to anybody but its own inhabitants.
    Regarding the geopolitical importance of the Balkans, I guess some people saw it that way in 1914, but that was rather misguided imo.

    How do you explain the present-day Russian efforts aimed at Serbia?

    Sentimental attachment? Orthodox solidarity?
    I just don’t think that the Balkans are intrinsically that important to Russia.

    Here’s an alternative policy proposal for Germany: adopt Grossdeutschland programme, ally with Italy

    The Italians had some unreasonable ambitions, as their eventual annexation of South Tyrol showed.
    In hindsight it would of course have been better for Germany and Austria, if Austria had never gotten involved in the Balkans.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  53. Vendetta says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Junger is essential reading to understanding the rise of fascism in Europe, specifically to understanding the war veterans who were the backbone of these movements in Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.

    Most works on World War I are left-leaning (not a coincidence that the war is routinely blamed on the abstracts of nationalism, imperialism, and militarism). The war is a horror show of abject misery, suffering, and death. There is no heroism, and there is no reason.

    Now the leftists have a point. But if the leftists are all you rely on, you’ll struggle to understand the mindset of the war veterans who came home to Germany and Italy and found that being at war was more tolerable than living in the societies they had returned to. Were they sociopaths? Evil? Fanatics? Had the war utterly broken their minds?

    Read Storm of Steel, and you will understand. Human beings can adapt to almost anything. Ernst Junger was in the thick of the fighting on the Western Front. Leading night raids into enemy trenches, crouching under massive artillery bombardments, wallowing in filth and disease with his men dying all around him every day.

    But he never wallows in grief or despair. What’s most striking about this book is how normal all this becomes to him. He’s not shell-shocked. He’s not broken. He hasn’t been forced to some realization that everything he once believed in was a lie. If anything, I’d say his mood throughout most of the book is downright upbeat, at least compared to what we’re used to from other works on the war in the trenches. No, it’s not just fun and games for him. Every day in the trenches is a hard day, and he is often pushed to his limits with stress, fear, and fatigue. But his mindset is never that of a man helplessly trapped in some prison or house of horrors. He’s just another guy with a shitty job he gets up and goes to every day, like a coal miner. It’s a dirty, exhausting job, but he gets up with a purpose every day and does it.

    It’s not easy to get a sense of what that purpose is. He’s not a jingoist who truly believes in some just cause behind the war. He doesn’t really hate the French or the British or any of his other enemies. He doesn’t feel any exceptional loyalty to the Kaiser. Why he is there and what he is fighting for are never really questions that cross his mind much. His country is at war, as a man he has a duty to fight. So he fights. That’s good enough for him.

    When we ask what’s going through the minds of our soldiers in Afghanistan, fighting a pointless war for seventeen years running, the answer is probably the same for most of them as it was for him.

    Now bring back millions of men who felt like this to the peacetime societies of Weimar Germany or to an Italy overrun with strikes and civil disorder. Life was tough for however many months or years you spent at the front, but you got up each day and had a purpose. Now there is no purpose. When you were at war, you had only your memories and your imagination and your letters from your family to remind you of the home you were fighting for. Your memories were probably nostalgic, you were probably imagining the better things you were missing out on, your family letters were probably encouraging and written to keep your hopes up.

    Now you’re here, and now you’re home, and now the reality is a shocking letdown compared to what you remembered and what you hoped for. This place is a mess! The government is falling apart, the economy is a wreck. Culture is degenerate and meaningless, people live petty and selfish lives.

    Now it’s very easy to see where fascism came from, and why these men were happier at war than they were at peace.

  54. From my seat here in America, it’s all Theodore Roosevelt’s fault.

    If he hadn’t run for President in 1912, splitting the Republican vote, Taft would have won and there would have been no American involvement.

    America would not have been sent on the road to wicked empire, and Russia would probably have turned out reasonably okay. Western civilization would have been devastated, but probably not destroyed.

    By the way, here in Gettysburg we have a large community of historians, battle enthusiasts, genealogists, tour guides, and the like. One of our guides recently led a tour to France to find the graves of 9 Adams County, PA soldiers killed in World War 1. They found the grave of one of my relatives. Needless to say, I was touched. He is buried near the American poet Joyce Kilmer.

  55. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Even better is that now Perun is awakening the Slavs back to his presence।।

    After having the christcucks, muslims & libs destroy each other in 3 world wars (cold war)

    It’s pretty great being Aryan.

  56. notanon says:

    I don’t blame anyone for WW1. The balance of power changed with German unification and the only way there wasn’t going to be a war eventually was if all the various powers were ruled by people with a mechanistic view of these things who realized the current powers had to make room for Germany – and even then it probably wouldn’t have worked.

    The details of how it started are just details imo – in a hundred different timelines there’d be 100 different ways it started.

    Mostly irrelevant, actually.

    I’d say it’s relevant to today as we’re currently in the same situation with
    - China’s rise
    - America and Europe’s gradual fall
    - Russia’s fall and partial rise
    the balance of power has shifted dramatically – which is when big wars happen.

    With the additional wild card in the shape of the US banking mafia who as a result of their betrayal of the US currently have lots of productive capital in China and therefore don’t want US-China conflict which is part of the reason they are stoking US-Russia conflict instead.

  57. Epigon says:
    @DFH

    When you quote 1900 to explain events of 1914
    Excellent debating skills.
    Now do the same thing for Bavarians and Prussians in 1866 and 1870

    • Replies: @DFH
  58. @AP

    Cruel Old Testament justice?

    Ah, you mean the god of the Jews?

    • Replies: @Anon
  59. @DFH

    Grey and his Foreign office clique had all those secret talks and agreements with France and Russia – and some of that was known in Germany and contributed to the German feeling of isolation and encirclement (e.g. there were negotiations between Britain and Russia about British ships landing Russian troops on the German coast in case of war, which freaked out Bethmann Hollweg).
    But before you feel compelled to defend British national honour once again: I’ve already admitted that Britain was probably the great power with the least responsibility for the outbreak of war.

    • Replies: @DFH
  60. @Anatoly Karlin

    I have no idea what the Irish in Ireland did to anger any divine force.

    Now, the Irish-Americans ….. that’s a different story. Their leaders, anyway. The Irish in America became Democrats largely because it was the best way for them to get jobs. Reasonable enough. But they stayed Democrat, and kept voting Democrat, which ended up being the best way to water down their country and their Catholic faith.

    Bishop John Ireland, an Irish-American bishop fond of the heresy of Americanism, was a grade A prick.

    • Replies: @Anon
  61. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    Bulgaria was a German ally in WW1.

    It ended up a German ally precisely because being a Russian ally and asset in 1878 and 1912-1913 got it nowhere. It entered the WW1 to retake the Serbian-held lands they claimed (the Strymon Macedonia is the most toxic acquisition in the history, as it turned out for Serbs).
    Russia worked hard for Balkan Alliance to form and wage a war against Ottomans, and to present a credible deterrent to German ambitions in the Balkans. Once London conference threw the sabot in the gears of Balkan alliance, it was all over and a major disaster.

    I don’t see how Montenegro could be important to anybody but its own inhabitants.

    Russians had been funding the puny Montenegro principality since Peter the Great, yearly.
    They obviously had their reasons.

    The Italians had some unreasonable ambitions, as their eventual annexation of South Tyrol showed.

    If the German Empire claimed it as part of the deal, the Italians couldn’t do anything about it. The Austrians in Tyrol would obviously prefer German rule. Self-determination and nation-states, ethnic principles have shown their merit. Empires are crap.

    In hindsight it would of course have been better for Germany and Austria, if Austria had never gotten involved in the Balkans.

    They needed de facto colonies to fuel their economy. Being locked-out of overseas gains, they viewed Balkans as prospective expansion territories.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  62. @German_reader

    Austrian demands? Reasonable? They were specifically designed to make Serbia say “no.” Only Austria had no plans for what to do if Austria said yes!

    As for Russian general mobilization, what choice did they have but to mobilize? The key to understanding how the war began, from the generals’ perspective, is railroads railroads railroads. Russian railroads were infinitely backward compared to the other great powers, and they had little choice but to mobilize quickly if they didn’t want to be pounced upon by Germany.

  63. notanon says:

    the most tragic thing about WW1 imo was simply the timing – after machine guns but before tanks.

    if it had started a few years later when there were tanks (but only really slow ones) the inevitable war might have been done and dusted without ending up being so bad.

  64. @Anon

    Most of the Germans Epigon mentions , or could have mentioned, were either not Christian or Calvinist, which might as well be not Christian.

    • Replies: @Anon
  65. @notanon

    You’re close.

    The single biggest problem with timing of the war from the perspective of ground combat was that it was after machine guns but before cheap and light radio communications. Most of the big “pushes” on the Western front failed because communications were FAR behind the technology of weaponry. Hitler’s role as a messenger is illustrative. The only reliable radio comms were wire-based; those were immobile and easily cut by artillery fire. Portable man-carried radio did not exist. So commanders above the most basic ranks had no way of quickly issuing crucial orders.

    John Keegan explains this at length in his book ‘The Face of Battle’

    Mind you, I’m talking about the West. Like any true Westerner, I am ignorant about the nature of the war between the Russians and the Austro-Germans.

  66. @Epigon

    They needed de facto colonies to fuel their economy.

    I don’t find that plausible (what could Austria have gained there?), imo it was more like that Austria had (maybe unwisely) gotten involved in the Balkans and couldn’t get out anymore, because giving in to Balkan nationalism would have eroded the legitimacy of the multinational monarchy and emboldened other nationalist secession movements.
    But I have to admit that I don’t have personal Balkans experience, so maybe I’m getting all of this wrong. Endlessly debating the question of “guilt” for WW1 is probably somewhat futile anyway.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  67. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Well jews certainly exploited slavic women perhaps these two are result?

  68. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    In a European context, if you’re not a Pagan you’re a Christian.

    We don’t get involved in the debates over which sect of the son of Panthera is correct

    We just worship Weapons & Prepare for Battle

  69. @notanon

    Is there a reason to suppose that tanks would have been invented without WW1? As I understand it, their invention was a direct reaction to the stalemate of the trenches, would any army have adopted them without that experience?

    • Replies: @notanon
    , @songbird
  70. Epigon says:
    @German_reader

    I don’t find that plausible (what could Austria have gained there?)

    Market + raw resources. From farms and pastures, to timber, iron, copper, salt, silver, zinc.
    You might be surprised if you check the 3rd Reich economic investments immediately prior to WW2, and the quantities of raw resources and metals they imported from Yugoslavia – mostly Serbia proper.

    imo it was more like that Austria had (maybe unwisely) gotten involved in the Balkans and couldn’t get out anymore, because giving in to Balkan nationalism would have eroded the legitimacy of the multinational monarchy and emboldened other nationalist secession movements.

    It wasn’t a multinational monarchy at all. It initially had a German ruling elite and German language dominance, with strong Jewish economic presence. After Hungarians exerted their pressure, they were elevated to ruler status in their part of the country.
    There was no legitimacy apart from force of arms – Bohemia and Moravia were conquered, Salzburg was actually Bavarian etc.
    It was a dysfunctional state marred by so many issues and contradictions. Hitler was right to be angry.

    But I have to admit that I don’t have personal Balkans experience, so maybe I’m getting all of this wrong.

    Or you might be right, and I got it wrong. In my opinion, discussing the issues and presenting pro et contra arguments should be done in case of all historical events.

    Endlessly debating the question of “guilt” for WW1 is probably somewhat futile anyway.

    I would agree, but if proper conclusions are reached and the lessons of previous times are learned and applied to correct the current issues – perhaps not so futile at all.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  71. Epigon says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Would the Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian case make a good analogy to Swedish, Norwegian, Danish one?

    • Replies: @AP
  72. @Epigon

    Gavrilo himself visited London twice before the assassination.

    Can you provide a reference for this, and also for your account of British backing for the 1903 “anti-Austrian” coup (the UK having in fact cut off diplomatic relations in protest shortly after the coup). Thanks.

  73. @Epigon

    It wasn’t a multinational monarchy at all.

    It didn’t have adequate arrangements for representation of the Slavic parts of the monarchy, that’s certainly true. Maybe it could have been reformed, maybe not. There’s probably a certain tendency in Germany and Austria to romanticize it (it’s sometimes seen as a kind of precursor of the EU, supposedly the good old times before diabolical nationalism took over), but I realize that this is a rather one-sided view.

    I would agree, but if proper conclusions are reached and the lessons of previous times are learned and applied to correct the current issues

    WW1 should certainly serve as a warning to all politicians in great powers, but given events of the last few years it seems many of them haven’t understood it.

  74. DFH says:
    @German_reader

    Grey and his Foreign office clique had all those secret talks and agreements with France and Russia – and some of that was known in Germany and contributed to the German feeling of isolation and encirclement

    The Anglo-French treaty was before Grey and wasn’t aimed at Germany, it was actually (as Clark says in his book) aimed at constraining Russia. This was also the main purpose of the Anglo-Russian treaty. Anyway, since those succeeded both the Franco-Russian alliance and the Triple Alliance, I don’t see how the alliance system can be blamed on Britain.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  75. DFH says:
    @Epigon

    When you quote 1900 to explain events of 1914

    So tell me how Britain conspired to create the Franco-Russian alliance in 1895

  76. @DFH

    I’d have to look that up again, but you’re probably right, I used imprecise language.

  77. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    He is buried near the American poet Joyce Kilmer.

    TREES

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

  78. songbird says:

    Another way WW1 may have been bad for the West is that there was a great surplus of planes at the end of the war, which may have accelerated the aviation industry by a few years, eventually, but still many decades away, leading to cheap flights, as well as better international communication.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  79. @songbird

    The war was certainly bad for white supremacy (if that’s what you mean).
    From the chapter about Asia (by Guoqi Xu) in volume 1 of The Cambridge history of the first world war:

    [MORE]

    For Vietnamese men, even sex and marriage with Frenchwomen symbolised their coming of age and national awakening. Some, despite their status as colonial subjects living in France, believed they were no different from Frenchmen living in Indochina, marrying local women and frequenting local brothels and cabarets.54 After the war, about 2,900 Vietnamese soldiers and workers remained in France.55 The widespread practice among Vietnamese of pursuing romantic relations with Frenchwomen made a deep impact on their psychological and national consciousness. It demonstrated that they could cross the old boundary between colonials and masters; they could challenge the colonial order and political taboos established by the French in Vietnam.56 Some Indochinese men openly characterised their sexual relations with Frenchwomen as political activity. For these Indochinese, sex with Frenchwomen was ‘like a revenge on the European, the Frenchman who down there causes old Indochina to blush and incites jealousy’. Such attitudes among the Indochinese, many of whom would eventually return home, presented a significant potential threat to the colonial order. According to one scholar, ‘The likely effect of such inter-racial relationships on the status of Frenchwomen in the colonies was apparent. If these women were supposed to be pillars of the community there, embodying French ideas about civilization and domesticity and defining the boundaries that separated colonizers from colonized’, these relationships would present ‘a significant potential threat to the colonial order.’57 The Vietnamese experience in France made them feel no longer inferior to the French, and they began to question and resent French dominance in Vietnam.58

    Relations between Frenchwomen and Vietnamese men worried French authorities deeply, and they tried to put a stop to them. One Indochinese man was imprisoned for fifteen days for ‘daring to fall in love with a French girl’.59 The French authorities were also concerned about the photographs Indochinese sent home of themselves in the company of white women. As it turned out, besides dating Frenchwomen, Vietnamese frequently sent home images of them, sometimes nude ones. Sergeant Major Ho sent his brother in Indochina letters he received from Frenchwomen, telling him to save them as ‘sacred things’ that the sergeant could, upon his return, show to European colonial masters who did not believe his stories and who might mock him for his pretensions to relations with white women.60 For the French, such proof of inter-racial contact was damaging to ‘our prestige in the Far East’, so French censors confiscated any such images as they could find. Censors were quite candid about the ultimate consequences for public order and French rule in the colonies: examples like Sergeant Ho’s ‘deplorable attitude’ would lead the population of Indochina to think that the French lived in a ‘shameful debauchery’. As Indochinese men gained the kind of experience, skills and, in some cases, education that would make them leaders in their societies in the post-war years, French authorities feared that these men would return to Indochina with new ideas and be less ‘submissive’ to ‘their traditional discipline’. They instructed the colonial government in June 1918 to interrogate and maintain close surveillance on returning soldiers.

    • Replies: @songbird
  80. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    It is too simple of an idea.

    The idea of armor is age-old. The idea of cavalry is quite old too. IMO, when automobiles were introduced, they would have already inevitability led to tanks, anyways – trench or no trench.

    Armored vehicles would be a good way to transport troops or to conduct raids, the latter of which was done in the Middle East, where trench warfare largely did not exist. Tanks would be the result of opposing or assisting these vehicles. The sea had already had ironclads, for decades, leading naturally to battleships.

  81. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Michael Daniloff

    Massie has put out some great stuff. A fluent Russian speaker to boot.

    • Replies: @inertial
    , @Gerard2
  82. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    I’d go further and say non-white soldiers were bad for Europe. Their presence was undoubtedly due to improving transport, but they were able to form their first impressions of Europe and send back word back home, which probably grew the desire to be in Europe. American blacks, for instance, learned that they would be treated as a novelty in Paris. Their presence was probably like crack-cocaine for the egalitarians.

    There’s a kind of irony because the Left always seems keen to do historical revisionism and exaggerate their number and function. But if they’ve glommed on to it, to exaggerate it, it can’t have been good to start with. That some of them were fighting in Europe probably just adds to the crazy idea that we owe them.

    I understand there was a pecking order, but I don’t like the term “white supremacy” because it has been used too long as a hobgoblin by the Left. Most nationalists, whether white, white ethnic, or other, simply aren’t interested in world dom, or having a subservient class, or extra-national territorial ambitions.

    • Agree: German_reader
  83. inertial says:

    Barbara Tuchman is wonderful. Read The Proud Tower, a portrait of the Western World on the eve of WWI. IMO it’s better than Guns of August. And for something completely different, read A Distant Mirror.

    • Agree: DFH
  84. @Vendetta

    All this was very on point. It is needed to remeber that people are psychologically wired differently and have very different reactions – some men become pacifists, some not at all and are voluntarily leading others to another war or directly participating themselves if given opportunity.

    Of course it would be interesting to know what are the actual proportions of each camp (let’s call them “remarqists” and “jungerists”) in population and how much presence of the so called specifical “warrior” genes can be found in men like Junger.

  85. Mikhail says:

    Some good WW I reads:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2026400.The_Twelve_Days

    https://www.amazon.com/Great-War-1914-1918-Cyril-Falls/dp/0399501002

    Russia’s WW I contribution and significance gets periodically overlooked on account of Western centric (include Western lefty) and sovok influences.

    Haven’t read Ferguson’s WW I book. His PBS involved TV series feature on empires is classic anti-Russian propaganda, in line with some of his other commentary concerning Russia.

  86. @Thorfinnsson

    It’s a question of status (like most things).

    In an alternate world where Russia didn’t turn Communist and been on the winning side of WW1, associating with it would have been very prestigious. Ukrainians would have melded into it without a second thought. Who would even want to be a discount Pole when one can join the Russian Cosmic Empire instead.

    Associating with today’s Russia is very unprestigious, hence why almost nobody wants to have anything to do with it. Developing a fictitious nationality (which can become substantive over time) with help from Euro gibs can be legitimately viewed as a superior strategy. Especially since it also conveniently doubles as a shit test for Russia. One it’s been failing.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
    , @Mr. XYZ
  87. inertial says:
    @Mikhail

    His wife Suzanne Massie wrote Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia. Ronald Reagan read this book and invited Suzanne to advise him on Russia and Russians. She taught him Russian proverbs, including “Trust but Verify.” Today, it’s impossible to imagine an American President hiring a Russophile historian (or a Russophile anyone) to be his Russia adviser.

    I bought a used copy of Land of the Firebird from a black street vendor in New York’s Madison Square for $5. I am yet to read it though.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  88. Mikhail says: • Website
    @inertial

    I’m aware of her. They’ve been divorced for a good many years now. She’s quite competent in her own right.

  89. LondonBob says:
    @Michael Daniloff

    Massie’s book Dreadnought was very good.

  90. LondonBob says:

    http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html

    I knew the Armenian Brit Robert John, his book is the seminal work on the Balfour Declaration, he was an acquaintance of the notorious Benjamin H Freedman.

  91. LondonBob says:
    @German_reader

    My great grandfather was designated a key worker and was assigned to a munitions factory but his five brothers served on the Western Front, they all enjoyed it to a certain extent. Morale was consistently high in the British Army. Peter Jackson’s new film emphasises the happiness of the average Tommy to serve to stop the Hun.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @fnn
  92. AaronB says:
    @Vendetta

    Freud recognized that men have a death instinct as much as a life instinct – men feel the physical world and solid bourgeois society as an irksome chain and are suddenly possessed of the desire to sweep it all away in an orgy of destruction.

    Evidently the European masses on the eve of WW 1 were utterly bored by the stable technocratic society and long years of peace that had prevailed up till then.

    Bertrand Russell the pacifist has a fascinating passage where he says his understanding of human nature was overturned when on the eve of WW1 he saw crowds of excited and happy young men preparing to get drafted at an English train ststio. They were ecstatic at the coming destruction.

    The Left and elites today are giving similar vent to the Thanatos instinct – utterly bored by the stable technocratic society that was post war Europe and America, they are seeking to destroy it, and chafing at the physical restraints of the physical world, they are promoting fantasies like transgenderism and all sorts of revolts against physical reality.

    This impulse is as old and mankind and has been at the heart of religion which seeks to transcend the world. Buddhism with its doctrine of “emptiness” is nothing less than the psychological destruction of the world and everything in it.

    If we are to avoid the physical expression of this impulse to transcend the physical order through destructive wars we must cultivate a metaphysical insight into the unreal character of this seemingly solid physical order with all its irksome limitations and restraints.

    But we won’t and I agree with Thorfinsson that an orgy of destruction and a world war is likely.

  93. WHAT says:
    @German_reader

    Why should Russia look any worse than Germany though? In book, Willie comes as even more unfit to the task than Nikkie, who was at least countered by two very good governments successively.
    In the end, anglo is the true devil anyway.

    On the book itself, I absolutely agree. Russian nationalists of any stripe should probably read it for the factual basis of “the Russia we have lost” sentiment alone.

  94. @DFH

    Wilhelm II and Chamberlain (Joseph) were both in favor of alliance. The sticking point was that the German Foreign Office insisted that Britain also guarantee Austria-Hungary’s security, which Britain was not willing to do. And of course once Asquith and his band of anti-German fanatics came to power there was no hope. Wilhelm II of course didn’t help matters when he called the British mad, mad as march hares.

  95. LondonBob says:
    @AP

    I am not sure you understand what moral means.

    If Germany was the most powerful country in Europe, having crushed France in 1870 I am not sure why they should be bothered by their weaker neighbouring countries forming a defensive alliance. Still the main concern was rapidly industrialising Russia. Bismarck was a smarter leader than the Kaiser Wilhelm and his clique.

  96. DFH says:
    @AP

    Britain is to blame for making the world a worse place because they had little moral reason to be involved and because if not for them the right side would haver won and the war would ended earlier, saving millions of European lives.

    Doesn’t this apply to every single country apart from Austria-Hungary and Serbia? Why did you choose to single out Britain?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @AP
  97. I would recommend Catastrophe by Max Hastings whose books on WW2, Vietnam and the Korean War are magnificent. Great on the military history, the battles, the high politics, the great personalities and also the ordinary soldiers and citizens involved. He takes the common view that the primarily culpable party was Germany which wanted its hands on White Russia in order to expand eastwards and become a genuine global superpower. Hitler’s war aims were essentially similar but with more genocide and outright slavery.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/historybookreviews/10382547/Catastrophe-by-Max-Hastings-review.html

    In this enormously impressive new book, Hastings effortlessly masters the complex lead-up to and opening weeks of the First World War. As a historian, his objective is twofold: to pin the principal blame for launching the catastrophic conflict where it rightly belongs: on Austria and Germany; and to argue unashamedly that Britain was right – politically and morally – to fight it.

    In advancing these arguments, Hastings takes on two foes: first, revisionist historians such as Cambridge’s Prof Christopher Clark who have recently sought to exculpate Germany and put tiny Serbia in the dock as the chief villain, for organising or conniving in the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo – the spark that gave Vienna and Berlin a perfect excuse to set off the conflagration.

    Hastings’s second adversary is more amorphous: what he calls “the poets’ view” of the war as a futile struggle for a few blood-drenched yards of mud, which wasted a whole generation, solved nothing and which Britain should have steered clear of, allowing those funny foreign fellows to slaughter each other without compromising its splendid isolation.

    This view, propounded by various powerful voices from the great economist John Maynard Keynes in 1919 down to the scriptwriters of the television comedy Blackadder Goes Forth, has been hammered so relentlessly into our heads that it is now the received opinion on the war. So much so that the government seems unsure how to mark next year’s centenary of the conflict, both for fear of upsetting the Germans and because British public opinion generally regards it as a senseless, unmitigated tragedy.

    Hastings, who received a knighthood in 2002, will have none of this. He shows how the Austrians coldly set out to destroy Serbia; how Berlin gave Vienna a “blank cheque”, assuring it of German support; how both countries ignored the certainty that Russia would pitch in on the side of its Slav protégé Serbia; and how Germany’s autocracy, under its mentally unstable Kaiser, deliberately pushed Europe over the edge. Germany recklessly gambled that Britain would stay out of the war, and that even if it did not, they could, anyhow, win it within weeks by knocking out France, before turning to deal with Russia at leisure: the same pipedream pursued by Hitler a quarter of a century later.

  98. @AaronB

    I quite look forward to the upcoming orgy of destruction and world war.

    Anything is preferable to our disgusting world order.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  99. @LondonBob

    Peter Jackson’s new film emphasises the happiness of the average Tommy to serve to stop the Hun.

    That sounds idiotic tbh. I don’t doubt that many believed in the rightness of their cause (to stop “Prussian militarism” or whatever), but “happiness” is surely stretching it.
    One of my English great-grandfathers was a rigger in the Royal flying corps during WW1. Unfortunately I don’t know much about his service (iirc he wasn’t just in France, but also in Palestine), but I do know that after WW1 he always refused to wear those idiotic poppy symbols (which seem to have become mandatory for British journalists and politicians in recent years), because his view of the war was highly negative and he couldn’t stand any celebrations of it. He was an extreme left-winger though (Independent Labour party), so maybe atypical.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  100. @DFH

    DFH the indefatigable Anglo-defender.

    I suppose someone’s got to do the job.

  101. AaronB says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    This is evidently a periodic feeling that comes over mankind. I am not unsympathetic to it.

    I my self pursue it on a metaphysical level.

  102. @German_reader

    A close friend of mine is a Vietnam War veteran. He said the war was the most exciting and happy time of his life, and that he’d love to do it all over again (if only he could could get a guarantee against getting killed).

    Men like the brotherhood of war and some (not all) are genuinely thrilled by combat.

  103. LondonBob says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    Hitler’s plans for Eastern Europe were very much in the mainstream of German thinking, reflected in the EU’s approach to the Ukraine today.

    I have seen Adam Tooze’s The Deluge recommended, haven’t read it yet myself.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  104. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It’s as ‘fictitious’ or as ‘real’ as many others. As for Russia, it does seem a bit constipated and I can see little relief for it in the near future.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  105. Matra says:
    @Epigon

    Furthermore, the opportunity presented itself – the preservation of British Empire and global hegemony fought by mostly non-British peoples against the challenger.

    Britain’s decision-makers were motivated by continental concerns. Foreign observers seem to always attach far greater importance to the British Empire than the British themselves ever did.

    As late as August 1 Grey had to inform the French ambassador that Britain could not be counted on to send an expeditionary force to France even if Britain went to war with Germany as most of the cabinet was opposed to helping France. That only changed in the next couple of days. There was certainly no grand devious British plot, nor was there ever British hegemony over Europe.

    There was a potential nightmare scenario for Grey though: France and Russia going to war expecting and needing British help, not receiving it, and being defeated. Germany would then dominate the continent with the embittered French and Russians believing Britain had abandoned them.

  106. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Its seems blasphemous to say this, but there seems to be some sort of cruel Old Testament divine justice at work.

    Because it is “blasphemous to say this” and something which is the opposite of a religious – in the positive sense – attitude. Also without historical analysis, but just random grouping together unrelated people and incidents. E.g. crimes of Nikolai II results in millions of ordinary people killed – the crime is not that he particularly supported Serbia instead of Austria. Read what Tolstoy wrote in 1904, about “idiots in their palaces”.

    Look at all books listed by German Reader above though – I think he knows about this topic a lot. Maybe we should crowdfund him to present some lecture on the topic.

  107. Mr. Hack says:
    @AaronB

    we must cultivate a metaphysical insight into the unreal character of this seemingly solid physical order with all its irksome limitations and restraints.

    And how’s this project going on for you?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  108. @Ali Choudhury

    He takes the common view that the primarily culpable party was Germany which wanted its hands on White Russia in order to expand eastwards and become a genuine global superpower.

    That’s not a common view held by any serious historian (even those who assign primary responsibility to Germany), but myth-making nonsense.

    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
  109. AaronB says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Reasonably well, thank you :)

    Like everything else it has its ups and downs – but with the assistance of alcohol, occasionally drugs, and psychedelic fairy tea things have been going reasonably well on this front.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  110. WHAT says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    >le devil kraut
    >written by anglo

    Oh, le shawk!

  111. @Thorfinnsson

    A close friend of mine is a Vietnam War veteran.

    No offense to your friend, but I don’t think something like the Vietnam war is even remotely comparable to the experience of the world wars in Europe. If somebody had told one of my grandfathers (British army 1940-1946, Wehrmacht 1940-1945) something like that, the reaction would have been disgust or violence. Americans have no idea about war.

  112. @German_reader

    Combat is combat.

    I realize Americans experienced less of it in the 20th century than Germans did.

    But those who experienced it still went through it. As an example nearly all of America’s WW1 fatalities occurred in three months in 1918. The intensity of combat for Americans in WW1 was comparable to what Europeans went through, but was restricted to a limited period.

    He did make a successful effort to remove himself from the front because he feared death. He experienced one battle in which 80% of his infantry company was wiped out owing to an unnecessary frontal assault ordered by his commanding officer. His XO put himself in for a Silver Star with a valor device after the fact and got it.

    And I don’t have a dog in this fight since my family is Swedish, a country which had a very lucky 20th century. Some of my ancestors volunteered for Finland, and we also adopted a Finnish orphan whose parents were murdered by the Russians in front of her.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  113. @Thorfinnsson

    Combat is combat.

    Shooting a few gooks somewhere in Southeast Asia, under conditions of massive American superiority in firepower and with the prospect that after a combat tour of maybe a few months or a year you’ll be going back to safe and wealthy America, isn’t really comparable to the experience of the world wars in Europe, sorry.
    American dead in Vietnam were 60 000. That’s nothing compared to even British losses at the Somme, let alone Soviet and German casualties in WW2.
    A bit of a pointless debate though, so I’ll stop here.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Dmitry
    , @Adam
  114. @German_reader

    I don’t even know what you’re trying to do here.

    Win points about the suffering Europeans went through? Yes, your grandfathers went through hell that mine didn’t. Congratulations?

    Any man who went through combat, went through combat. Do you need me to dig up accounts from Germans, French, Russians, etc. from the world wars who enjoyed their combat experience?

    If you’re in a fucking rice paddy in Vietnam being shelled by 130mm NVA artillery and getting suppressed by machine gun fire, you’re in combat.

    That your country happens to have superiority in firepower in said war probably does not occur to you while you’re ducking shellfire and bullets.

    This is really ridiculous and I expect better from you.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  115. @Thorfinnsson

    I just object to your positive view of war which sounds as if you imagine it to be some fun contest where one can win glory and prove one’s manliness. Even if said only in jest, I don’t see the merits of writing something like “I look forward to the coming world war”.
    But anyway, this is a pointless discussion and I’d rather end it.

  116. And incidentally, while I wasn’t here, the Vietnam War had an extremely traumatic effect on America. Men were being drafted to fight and die in a country ten thousand miles away in a conflict they didn’t understand and that their leaders could not explain to them.

    I understand that Germany went through horrors that Americans can’t even imagine (and these horrors were partly inflicted by Americans without good reason), but every German understood what he was fighting for.

    I am usually known as a pro-Trump voice, but it is in fact disgraceful the way Trump, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Bill Clinton, and other elite men of their generation evaded the slaughter of Vietnam that their fathers grimly confined working class men of that era to.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  117. AaronB says:
    @German_reader

    Sooooo serious.

    War is fun and exhilarating and countless people have loved it. Instead of denying this fact we should understand what this says about human nature and the inadequacies of every day life and find a way of dealing with it.

    This does not mean you support wars. But we need to stop repressing human nature – we need to understand it and deal with it.

    Denial, denial, denial, repression, repression, repression – it always just ends up bursting out another way. We did it with sex, now violence – both some of the most powerful forms of self transcendence.

    It’s a western habit that must end.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  118. @German_reader

    I speak casually and violently sometimes and you were right to push back against said talk.

    Obviously we will not benefit from a world war.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  119. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Vietnam war was extreme for America soldiers , as the American soldiers were in small independent units, unsupervised for days in the jungle, often murdering civilians.

    Fact they have organized for them luxurious parties in South Vietnam between, and they are from wealthy country where other young people like Donald Trump are partying in New York – is just adding more to its madness probably.

  120. Adam says:
    @German_reader

    The Vietnam war was brutal in its own way, and by your logic the western front of WWII was a joke because it was dwarfed in destruction and savagery by the eastern front.

  121. Carleton Meyer maintains a list of America’s lost battles in Vietnam: http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    Here is Robert McNamara understanding why we lost: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl8wpsGooOo

  122. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    but every German understood what he was fighting for.

    Not sure in either war, most German soldiers know what they were fighting for. Disputes between kings the first time – where it was equally stupid on all sides -, and dictator’s conquest in the second.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  123. @Dmitry

    German_reader is obviously better prepared to speak on this, but it seems that in the second war after a certain period of time the Germans understood a horrible vengeance would be visited upon them if they were defeated.

    Sew the wind, reap the whirlwind.

  124. @German_reader

    It is the view taken by Fritz Fischer at the University of Hamburg, David Stevenson at the LSE, David Fromkin at Boston University and Sir Michael Howard at Oxford and Yale. Weltmacht oder Niedergang was firmly official German policy before 1914 and relaunched by Hitler in the 30s.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Miro23
  125. @Thorfinnsson

    Agree! Europe in essence lost its soul and never recovered it. And the US, as it turns out, wasn’t far behind.

  126. AaronB says:

    Everyone is being so mature on this thread – makes me sick :)

    I want some wild irresponsible generalizations being thrown around…

    Come on people….

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  127. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    War is a substitute gratification – in the Freudian sense – for the kind of transcendence of the ordinary world found in religion.

    True religion is full acceptance of the ordinary world with all its seeming imperfection as an expression of the ineffable wisdom of the divine, therefore seeing everyday life as a divine mystery.

    Transcendence is ultimately not abandoning the every day world for some hazy other realm but seeing the ordinary world in a new light.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  128. @German_reader

    “Americans have no idea about war.”

    “Americans” as in American combat soldiers? Or American citizens? Disagree in the former case, totally agree in the latter. In the former case-they were no different from the combat soldiers of Germany, England, Russia, France, Japan etc. etc. In the latter case America is clueless. Americans can’t begin to fathom what it was like to be on the receiving end of enemy bullets fired on home soil while bombs fell from aircraft overhead. And I don’t want to hear about Pearl Harbor and 9/11, both of which were one-offs. Germany, England and Japan were subjected to sustained bombing and Russia, Germany and France were subject to invasion (and, in the case of Germany and France, eventual occupation). There haven’t been foreign boots on mainland American soil since the War of 1812.

  129. @dearieme

    Also, “The Sleepwalkers” by Christopher Clark (which also serves as a prelude to the war itself), which neatly illustrates the extent to which Britain, France, Germany and Russia were basically flying blind, headlong into eventual conflict.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  130. @LondonBob

    Thanks to you both for the book recs. Both sound interesting and I added them to my reading list, especially the Tooze book.

  131. @Thorfinnsson

    Ok, sorry, I got a bit too emotional and wrote a few over-generalized statements myself (“Americans have no idea about war” was a bit disrespectful, I want to apologize for that). Best to leave it at that.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  132. there was only one prime architect of the first, 1914-18, round of the 20th Century World War that destroyed Europe, brought down the White Empires, and mortally wounded Western Civilization and – as current Judeo-globalist machinations indicate – quite likely the White Race itself:

    France

    France, that is to say its military/political/economic ruling class, never accepted defeat in the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War…a war also instigated largely by France. Defeat itself, the German seizure of Alsace-Lorraine, having to rely on the victorious Germans to supress the Paris Commune, and a savage war reparation rendered in gold were all too much for l’amour propre, and the French immediately began re-building and reforming their military forces, weaving a web of diplomatic and military encirclement around Germany and Austria-Hungary, and memorializing the war in a manner indicative of intent; compare the German and French memorials to the dead of 1870-71: the German memorials are dignified, inward, grief-striken…the French memorials are strident, violent, Marie in warlike garb, with rampant sword pointing eastward…toward Deutschland.

    by 1914, with Russia in public alliance and Britain in secret accession, the encirclement was essentially complete. Only Italy, still nominally allied with the Central Powers, remained to be roped in; since, however, Italy’s territorial designs were entirely on Austria, she also was certain to come in if the Encirclement Powers could contain the initial German counterblast. It remained only to secure financing and provide a spark. The basis for the debt-finance of the war was secured on 24 December, 1913, when the charter for the Rothschild Third National Bank (alias “Federal Reserve”) was smuggled through an eager-to-recess U.S. Congress. The spark was provided by the 26 June 1914 Sarajevo Hit on the Austrian Archduke, carried out by a 22-man Serbian Black Hand death squad…the Black Hand itself being a creature of both the Russian Okhrana and French Secret Service.

    then the dominos fell. Recommended reading:

    Warning Tremor, 1870-71

    Wawro, Geoffrey: The Franco-Prussian War (NY, 2003)
    Steefel, Lawrence: Bismarck, The Hohenzollern Condidadacy, and the Origins of the Franco-German War of 1870 (Cambridge, 1962)
    Oncken, Hermann: Napoleon III and the Rhine – Origin of the War of 1870-71 (NY, 1928)
    Lord, Robert: Origins of the War of 1870 – New Documents from the German Archives (NY, 1966)

    Varley, Karine: Under the Shadow of Defeat – The War of 1970-71 in French Memory (NY, 2008)

    1871-1914: France Weaves the Web of Encirclement

    Fay, Sidney: Origins of the World War, 2 vol. (Toronto, 1966)
    Barnes, Harry Elmer: Genesis of the World War (NY, 1927)
    Kennan, George: The Fateful Alliance – France, Russia, and the Coming of the First World War (NY, 1984)
    Lafor, Laurence: The Long Fuse…Origins of WW I (Phila., 1971)
    Albertini, Luigi: Origins of the War of 1914, 3 vol. (London, 1952)

    The Spark: Sarajevo and the Serbian Black Hand

    McMeekin, Sean: July 1914 – Countdown to War (NY, 2013)
    Ham, Paul: 1914 – The Year The World Ended (London, 2013)
    MacKenzie, David: The Black Hand on Trial, Salonika 1917 (Boulder, 1995)

    just a teaser. Extended, multi-lingual bibliography on 1870-1918

    http://chaosandconspiracy.wordpress.com/bibliography-on-the-1914-45-world-war/

  133. @Ali Choudhury

    Fritz Fischer was fixated on Germany to an absurd degree (with all the other great powers only reacting to Germany’s aggressive designs), imo his work can only be understood as a reaction to the Nazi experience. I find it bizarre that he’s still cited today as if his work had settled the question for all time.
    As for German war aims in WW1, there was no consistent programme for conquering a continental empire (let alone a racial empire up to the Urals as Hitler wanted). It’s true that German elites got greedy at times when the war seemed to be going well and dreamed of annexations, and there were influential nationalist pressure groups who drew up all sorts of absurd wishlists about annexations in Europe and colonies in tropical Africa. But these things were constantly in flux. And when Germany was victorious in the east in 1917/18, there was no plan to annex these areas directly to the Reich; instead satellite states were set up there.
    Germany was of course an imperialist power. But so were pretty much all the other combatants. I find the selective moralizing about this even after a century just bizarre.

  134. there was only one prime architect of the first, 1914-18, round of the 20th Century World War that destroyed Europe, brought down the White Empires, and mortally wounded Western Civilization and – as current Judeo-globalist machinations indicate – quite likely the White Race itself:

    France

    France, that is to say its military/political/economic ruling class, never accepted defeat in the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War…a war also instigated largely by France. Defeat itself, the German seizure of Alsace-Lorraine, having to rely on the victorious Germans to supress the Paris Commune, and a savage war reparation rendered in gold were all too much for l’amour propre, and the French immediately began re-building and reforming their military forces, weaving a web of diplomatic and military encirclement around Germany and Austria-Hungary, and memorializing the war in a manner indicative of intent; compare the German and French memorials to the dead of 1870-71: the German memorials are dignified, inward, grief-striken…the French memorials are strident, violent, Marie in warlike garb, with rampant sword pointing eastward…toward Deutschland.

    by 1914, with Russia in public alliance and Britain in secret accession, the encirclement was essentially complete. Only Italy, still nominally allied with the Central Powers, remained to be roped in; since, however, Italy’s territorial designs were entirely on Austria, she also was certain to come in if the Encirclement Powers could contain the initial German counterblast. It remained only to secure financing and provide a spark. The basis for the debt-finance of the war was secured on 24 December, 1913, when the charter for the Rothschild Third National Bank (alias “Federal Reserve”) was smuggled through an eager-to-recess U.S. Congress. The spark was provided by the 26 June 1914 Sarajevo Hit on the Austrian Archduke, carried out by a 22-man Serbian Black Hand death squad…the Black Hand itself being a creature of both the Russian Okhrana and French Secret Service.

    then the dominos fell. Recommended reading:

    Warning Tremor, 1870-71

    Wawro, Geoffrey: The Franco-Prussian War (NY, 2003)
    Steefel, Lawrence: Bismarck, The Hohenzollern Condidadacy, and the Origins of the Franco-German War of 1870 (Cambridge, 1962)
    Oncken, Hermann: Napoleon III and the Rhine – Origin of the War of 1870-71 (NY, 1928)
    Lord, Robert: Origins of the War of 1870 – New Documents from the German Archives (NY, 1966)

    Varley, Karine: Under the Shadow of Defeat – The War of 1970-71 in French Memory (NY, 2008)

    1871-1914: France Weaves the Web of Encirclement

    Fay, Sidney: Origins of the World War, 2 vol. (Toronto, 1966)
    Barnes, Harry Elmer: Genesis of the World War (NY, 1927)
    Kennan, George: The Fateful Alliance – France, Russia, and the Coming of the First World War (NY, 1984)
    Lafor, Laurence: The Long Fuse…Origins of WW I (Phila., 1971)
    Albertini, Luigi: Origins of the War of 1914, 3 vol. (London, 1952)

    The Spark: Sarajevo and the Serbian Black Hand

    McMeekin, Sean: July 1914 – Countdown to War (NY, 2013)
    Ham, Paul: 1914 – The Year The World Ended (London, 2013)
    MacKenzie, David: The Black Hand on Trial, Salonika 1917 (Boulder, 1995)

    just a teaser. Extended, multi-lingual bibliography on 1870-1918 @

    http://chaosandconspiracy.wordpress.com/bibliography-on-the-1914-45-world-war/

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  135. Bliss says:
    @AaronB

    Transcendence is ultimately not abandoning the every day world for some hazy other realm but seeing the ordinary world in a new light.

    You will have to abandon the every day world willy nilly very soon. What happens to this pseudo-spiritual “transcendence” you keep speaking about then?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  136. AaronB says:
    @Bliss

    Where will I be going when I abandon this every day world? I am everything, and everything is me.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  137. @Anatoly Karlin

    In the case of France at least, it is quite obviously the case. Archbishop Lefebvre, the head of the traditionalist catholic rebellion against the globohomo NewChurch that controls the Vatican since the elevation of Montini (aka Paul 6) to the throne of Peter, announced on French télévision back in 1982 or so that islam was God’s scourge, with which He would flog France for her apostasy. Quite prophetic if you ask me.

    He was fined 5000 francs for heinous public speech.

  138. Bliss says:
    @AaronB

    I am everything, and everything is me.

    Just parroting words you heard or read is not experiencing transcendence, is it?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @AaronB
  139. AaronB says:
    @Bliss

    I don’t seek to experience transcendence. I am ok with things just as they are.

  140. @Vendetta

    A very good take, on a truly astounding book. Thank you.

    My own reading of Storms of Steel has been a defining moment in my intellectual formation, about 2 decades ago. I would not say that this book made me a fascist per se, but for sure it opened my eyes regarding the vacuity of liberal-democratic polities. I still remember vividly the first pages, where Junger explains how being a soldier in a war is a cure for most illnesses (he even mentions cancer iirc). And it’s true; in democratic-liberal polities, all we do os waste our lives waiting until one MD will announce us a death sentence in his sanitized office, with a picture of he, his kids and second wife in a frame on his desk. What a waste.

    Today, we can measure how deeply the European civilization has sunk during the past 100 years. Is there even any left that is worth being saved from the African locusts?

  141. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I travel across France quite a bit for my work. If you tell me the name of the cemetery where your relative is resting, I might be able to stop there once, and send you a picture of his grave.

    Excellent point about Roosevelt. I had not realized. Wilson was a really wicked Protestant jackass.

    • Replies: @Excal
  142. AaronB says:
    @Bliss

    Maybe I am.parroting words I don’t fully understand Bliss. What’s you’re take on all this spiritual stuff? What are your beliefs?

    I’m curious.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  143. Two books I haven’t yet read, but still want to mention, because they sound interesting:

    Alexander Watson, Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I.

    This seems to be mostly a sort of social history of the home front in Germany and Austria-Hungary during WW1. There doesn’t seem to be much else like this in English.

    Manfried Rauchensteiner, The First World War and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1914-1918.

    A massive history (about 1000 pages) of Austria-Hungary’s involvement in WW1. Seems to be the standard work about the subject.

    • Replies: @Aslangeo
  144. @Thorfinnsson

    My time in the mandatory military service ranks amongst the very best period of my life.

    Being young, wearing cool attire, roaming the hills and the forests with other dudes carrying guns of various kinds, shooting said guns at the range without even have to pay the ammo, singing all sorts of xenophobic and profane songs and having tons of good laughs while doing all that — homestly, and I’m not even being sarcastic, it really does not get much more fun than that in life. I imagine how much more awesome it would have been, with the adrenaline rush of actual combat.

  145. @AaronB

    Probably some nonsensical syncretic mumbo-jumbo like yours — but in nigga-oriented fashion.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Bliss
  146. AaronB says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    Well, I would like to hear the nigga oriented version of my mumbo jumbo.

    I generally enjoy all kinds of mumbo jumbo. If you wished to give me the French fascist oriented version of my mumbo jumbo I’d be similarly curious.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  147. @Haxo Angmark

    I agree with you.

    The freemasonic cult that is called “Troisième République” is the single main reason of this nonsensical war.

    It is beyond comprehension that French Catholics, after having been all but relegated to internal exile after the 1905 secularization laws, have accepted to serve the diabolical regime that sent the French ethnos to its own destruction. Had I been a French Catholic of that time, I would have left for Argentina or Quénec, never to ever come back.

  148. @AaronB

    I am not French, so I can’t really help you with that.

    Regarding fascism the sources are many. You don’t need my summary to figure this out.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  149. AaronB says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    Ah swiss then, from William Tell (as we say in English)?

    My mistake. A good friend of mine from France is named Guillaume, so I assumed….but quite stupid of me.

    I am not merely interested in fascism which I understand, but fascist mumbo jumbo specifically, which I bet is interesting.

  150. @AaronB

    No worries. Many people confuse French and Francophone. Especially those who don’t speak the French language. It can reasonably be argued that the lowest quality French (language) is the variety that is currently being spoken in France.

    • LOL: AaronB
    • Replies: @for-the-record
  151. Anon[377] • Disclaimer says:

    Barbara Tuchman (1962) – The Guns of August [download] may not be the most groundbreaking WW1 book, but it may well be the best from a literary perspective.

    Not really. The best from a literary perspective might be The Barbarism of Berlin, which is however not of much use as an unbiased historical document. Churchill wrote a WWI book which is probably also pretty good from a literary perspective.

  152. @AaronB

    I am not merely interested in fascism which I understand, but fascist mumbo jumbo specifically, which I bet is interesting.

    Perhaps try Nichifor Crainic, Alexandru C. Cuza (not to be confused with Alexandru I. Cuza) or Corneliu Codreanu and the Legion of the Archangel Michael.

    A lot of quasi-Christian mysticism. Also strident anti-semites.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  153. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    I have heard of none of these people which is unusual for me – but I will give them a shot!

  154. I have heard of none of these people which is unusual for me – but I will give them a shot!

    Codreanu’s wedding clothes. He also rode on a horse while his wife followed in a cart drawn by six oxen.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  155. @German_reader

    I accept your apology.

    I am sure you understand it is quite difficult for me to apologize.

    But I do so to you.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  156. @Hyperborean

    And then there is Ariosophy, although some parts of it are rather out there – such as Lanz von Liebenfels’ Theozoology — or the Science of the Sodomite Apelings and the Divine Electron.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @German_reader
  157. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    The weirder the better, I shall try it!

    I’m not even sure I believe in weird.

    Thank you for the recommendations.

  158. @Hyperborean

    Don’t give AaronB so many ideas, if he converts to fascism and spams the comments section with esoteric fascist mumbojumbo, it’ll be your fault. Then we could only hope that a Reichsflugscheibe picks him up and takes him to Antarctica.

    • LOL: AaronB
  159. Excal says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    WW1 was the eruption of a long-boiling volcano. But none of these things were caused by the war.

    Three of the great dominions of the British Empire — the US, Canada and Australia — were basically as independent as they would ever be by WW1. I think the Boer War had more to do with setting off the disintegration of the rest (South Africa, Rhodesia, India, Egypt, etc) than did WW1.

    World communism was brewing for a long, long time before 1914. WW1 certainly did not cause it — it would be fairer, if not precisely correct, to say that world communism caused WW1.

    The third statement I can almost agree with — except that it was really the Prussians who were the behind the German part of WW1, and really also of WW2. Germany had hardly been “whole” until it was drawn forcibly together by Bismarck only forty years prior, and even he could not bring the Austrians in.

    I am not so pessimistic about France, but I think that it may be time for miracles.

    The USA may have always had some imperialism in its blood — consider Polk’s conquest of California and the Mexican war (even considering the very strong arguments in support of what he did). In fact the actions against the Barbary pirates were the earliest American police action. By WW1 they had been at that sort of thing for a long time.

    If there is any one moment when the world could be said to have been ruined, it would be when Adam and Eve made a certain very unfortunate choice for dinner. But a more recent catastrophic event is the demise of the Christian political framework embodied by the Holy Roman Empire, which made possible the rise of Bismarck, Garibaldi, and the many other thugs who brought down Christendom.

    “Such things must come”, but WW1 was a result of those and many other crimes, not the cause of them.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Thorfinnsson
  160. Excal says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    I’m ready to be corrected, but I don’t think Wilson was wicked. The USA produces presidents like that every now and again: well-intentioned men with just enough political ability to climb the greasy pole, but basically lacking in wisdom. Carter and Wilson are the defining examples.

    Lyndon Johnson, by contrast, really was wicked, and did more damage than Carter and Wilson combined.

    In the UK, possible examples of the Carter/Wilson type are Attlee, Chamberlain, and Lord North — and, perhaps, Gladstone (plenty of room for argument of course).

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  161. @AaronB

    Everyone is being so mature on this thread – makes me sick :)

    I want some wild irresponsible generalizations being thrown around…

    Come on people….

    There is plenty of immaturity and irresponsible generalisations over at /pol/.

    I’d rather not have this space turn into /pol/.

  162. Anon[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Excal

    Lol more christcuckery about adam eve, abaraham fucking his sister, cain fucking his mother.

    When do you jews stop??

    • Replies: @Excal
  163. @Guillaume Tell

    It can reasonably be argued that the lowest quality French (language) is the variety that is currently being spoken in France.

    And where is the best spoken, Québec? (lol) Although they do so that French Canadian accent is actually the closest to the “true” (royal) French of the 18th century.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  164. Yevardian says:

    How could you miss out on A.J.P Taylor?

    Everyone is being so mature on this thread – makes me sick :)

    I want some wild irresponsible generalizations being thrown around…

    Come on people….

    Nothing on Jews, Futurism, HBD or Current Affairs was mentioned in this post.

    Americans have no idea about war.

    Objectively true.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  165. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    It’s as ‘fictitious’ or as ‘real’ as many others.

  166. Aslangeo says:
    @dearieme

    Fully agree, Gordon Corrigan is a norther Irish retired Gurkha officer in the British army.

    Mud blood and poppycock demolishes long held British myths about WW 1

    His follow up blood seat and arrogance does the same for WW II, where British myths are somewhat detached from reality

    I would also recommend corrigans sepoys in the trenches looking at the role of the Indian army.

    Others for the french army I would look at paths of glory by Anthony Clayton

    For the British army tommy by Richard Holmes and forgotten victory by Gary Sheffield

    For the russian perspective towards the flame by Anglo Russian historian Dominic lieven

    For naval operations Paul g Halpern a naval history of World War I , and rules of the game by Andrew Gordon

    For Nicky Georgie and willy please consider three emperors, three cousins by Miranda carter

    Hope this helps

  167. Aslangeo says:
    @Prester John

    Fully agree, I am sure that German reader meant the American public, Americans have not had hostile troops on their territory since 1865. Americans think that war is something they do to other people. Unfortunately this has led to war being the first choice for American leaders of every stripe.

  168. Aslangeo says:
    @German_reader

    I would also recommend Alexander Watson’s ring of steel, one of the few English language books that looks at WW I from a German and Austrian perspective

  169. Sean says:

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n23/thomas-laqueur/some-damn-foolish-thing

    The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark is the most recent major book close to the truth because it explains the assassinations (one of thes Black Hand officers hacked off the Queens breast and kept it in his wallet. Years later he murdered a recruit and the Black Hand had the Serbian prime minister pardon him) that the Serbian leadership and their cat’s paw of the Black Hand planned and perpetrated in the previous decade. The Serbians tried to start the war, they had the greatest sacrifices in percentage of population killed and the greatest gains in territory. They understood huge sacrifices would be necessary to attain their objective.

    https://www.unz.com/pfrost/they-really-did-start-it/

    Massacre of the Serbian royal family, 1903 (Wikicommons). The country became viewed as a rogue state in the hands of Greater Serbia extremists.

    Can a small country deliberately cause a big war? Yes, in the right context, especially one of relative peace when the major powers have their hands free to engage in war (or think they do). A small country may exploit this potential for global conflict if it sees no other way to achieve its national aims and if the alternatives seem humiliating or intolerable. This mental calculation would also include the costs of global conflict … which are borne overwhelmingly by the citizenries of other countries.

    Serbia paid dearly for the First World War, but the payback was considerable. When the spoils were divided up in 1918, Serbia more than doubled in land area, becoming comparable in size to the large states of Western Europe. The dream of Greater Serbia had come true.

    France, especially Raymond Poincaré, wanted war to get Alsace and Lorraine back, they encouraged Russia, and the French premier and president went to Russia for a summit with the Czar, which caused Germany to delay announcements of its backing for Austria.

    The full extent of Britain’s understanding with France was kept secret, and as the Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon did not warn Germany that Britain would come in, it is clear to me that Grey wanted to fight in 1914.

    Having already squandered a golden opportunity to crush France in 1905, when Britain lacked an substantial army and Russia was in chaos, German generals wanted to stop Russia before the military-purpose railways France was financing in Russia let them bring the Russian steamroller to bear. The Kaiser refused because Tirpitz demanded time to finish the Navy building program. However the relative power of opponents increased far faster than Germany’s. Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg had remarked to his son at the turn of the century that there was little point in planting oak trees on his estate because the Russians would be there before they matured (ie within 20 years).

    Winston Churchill’s Navy ally, the wily oriental Admiral Fisher, wanted to Copenhagen the German Fleet (ie mount a sneaky attack without declaration of hostilities). He was forced to retire on reaching 70 years of age in 1911. That year he predicted that war with Germany would break out in October 1914, following the anticipated completion date of work on the Kiel Canal to allow the passage of battleships. The Kiel Canal was completed in July, and war commenced in August 1914.

    Long before the war, Russia was focused on the Ottoman Straits and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov ordered the army mobilized very precipitously, and also in 1914 he got Romania Allied assurances it would be given large amount of other countries. We can perhaps see what he had in mind: .

    As World War I unwound, Sazonov worked to prevent Romania from joining the Central Powers and wrested in March 1915 an acquiescence from Russia’s allies to the post-war occupation of the Bosphorus, Constantinople, and the European side of the Dardanelles.

  170. John Done says:
    @AaronB

    Freud , as his name indicates , was a fraud

  171. @Thorfinnsson

    And Nathaniel Rothschild, in the final act of Rothschild power, did a deal with LLoyd George over technology to make Acetone for increased Jewish settlement in Palestine. Another problem with which we still live. The Rothschild powers disappeared as the next generation threw it all away partying in the 1920′s. I usually find antisemitism unreadable but this is true. Nathaniel Rothschild was a genuine conspirator. Rothschild, Rhodes and Salisbury colluded together to start the 2nd Boer War for example.

  172. @German_reader

    I just object to your positive view of war which sounds as if you imagine it to be some fun contest where one can win glory and prove one’s manliness.

    He’s an American. Americans are feral kids raised by TV and intertubes.

    They have a massive rude shock coming to them in the coming war, no point in trying to instill sense into them now. (Presumably they already read about the Grasshopper and the Ant, but like the manchildren that they are, they missed all possible points.)

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  173. @songbird

    But both my grandfathers, not overly educated, volunteered. Fortunately both lived. One was a Quaker and wouldn’t fight. He served as a medical orderly with mounted infantry. They assigned him to a battalion that served in India for the war as a reward for volunteering despite being an CO. The other poor bugger managed to get to both Gallipoli and the Somme as a sergeant of pioneers building railways (he was a railwayman before the war) and digging trenches – ie right up the front. He wouldn’t talk about it.

    • Replies: @songbird
  174. @German_reader

    Britain created Belgium as a sort of buffer between France and the various versions of Germany. The idea was that Britain had a route to intervention against whoever invaded first, thus avoiding alliances. In the end, that was forgotten. Instead of being Belgium’s protector Britain became too friendly to France and thus drawn in on one side rather than as kingmaker.

  175. @anonymous coward

    I’m reminded of DFH’s tireless work in opposing braindead anti-Angloism.

    Do I need to take up the same struggle for my country?

    And I’m barely even American.

  176. @Excal

    Polk’s conquest of the Mexican Cession was to America’s benefit. The victory in that war was a great credit and benefit to the American race.

    The trouble with America’s modern Wilsonian imperialism is that is of no benefit to Americans…or as far as I can tell anyone at all. Brainless aggression justified by bizarre fanaticism.

    FDR destroyed this country and perhaps Western civilization as well.

    • Replies: @Excal
    , @John Done
  177. Squiffy says:
    @jimmyriddle

    “It’s worth reading some first-hand, non-fiction, accounts to get a feel for the period – Robert Graves’ “Goodbye to All That”, for example.”

    A terrific book which should be read in the first edition – his candor RE the British officers cost him friends, and much was edited out of subsequent editions as his anger faded.

  178. Bliss says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    It is like throwing pearls before swine wallowing in filth but still, since the supply is inexhaustible, here is some “nigga” wisdom for you:

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  179. @Prester John

    It’s a really long book. I managed two thirds of it. The early chapters were the most illuminating. IT does try to avoid just running through lists of events which is a blessing.

  180. songbird says:
    @Philip Owen

    True – volunteerism always seems to be highest at the beginning of wars. I’m not familiar with the book. Maybe, the premise is about the days leading up to war, or maybe volunteerism should be treated as a separate phenomenon.

    The continuation of any war often seems to be based on hard feelings from fighting the war. It seems so obvious, but I wonder if any theoretical war plan ever even considered it.

  181. benjaminl says:
    @Hyperborean

    The top review on Amazon, by “Schrodinger’s Cat,” of Michael Hofmann’s 2004 translation, also complains:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/reviews/0143108255

    I was on the 3rd chapter when the 1929 edition arrived. At this point I began to read the 1929 edition. By the time I had gotten to where I was with the Michael Hofmann edition I was stunned! The narrator, Ernst Junger, portrayed in both books were totally different. The narrator of the 1929 edition was a classically educated man that was strongly patriotic. The Hofmann translation was of a faceless, unthinking, soldier.

    At this point I read them in parallel. It left me profoundly depressed to think that anyone would have the temerity to boldly blot out entire pages of a priceless autobiography. Whatever you may think of German nationalism and the German character, no one, not Hofmann, nor penguin has the right to butcher and slant a great work of literature. If you are a student of military history you want the 1929 edition as Junger takes the time to explain military tactics and the necessity for discipline and practice, practice, practice in the military arts. Hofmann has deemed this not fit for our enlightenment.

  182. Bliss says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia has more Muslims than France and Germany combined. And a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union.

  183. Bliss says:
    @jimmyriddle

    The lasting effect if WWI was that the old ruling class of Europe was discredited everywhere.

    True dat.

    What the slaughter of the hereditary ruling class during the French Revolution did not achieve was finally achieved by the slaughter of it’s Russian counterpart during WWI.

  184. neutral says:
    @German_reader

    I don’t think there was a conspiracy by Britain (or any other power) to deliberately start WW1.

    The British government had open Zionists in their cabinet, a war with the Ottomans was to their benefit to as it would give jews their own land. Also replacing the old regimes with the new Weimar regimes were also very good for the jews. Just like the jews are pushing very hard for all the US wars in the middle east there is zero doubt in my mind that their influence to start WW1 was very strong.

    • Replies: @DFH
    , @for-the-record
    , @anon
  185. neutral says:
    @Bliss

    Russia has more Muslims than France and Germany combined. And a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union.

    But is this a good or bad thing for you? If you are anti white then I would assume you want it to be Muslim, on the other hand if it was Muslim you could no longer demonize it as the great Satan.

    • Replies: @songbird
  186. DFH says:
    @neutral

    The British government had open Zionists in their cabinet, a war with the Ottomans was to their benefit to as it would give jews their own land.

    Do you have a single piece of evidence that this affected any of the decisions of the British cabinet?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  187. @Bliss

    Of which a good majority are are Tatars and Bashkirs, who are highly secular and don’t reproduce faster than Russians.

    There is no Russian city that Muslims are taking over.

    It is happening aplenty in Western Europe. You’d have a point if Russian cities were similarly full of Central Asian ghettos, but that’s not happening.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  188. @neutral

    The British government had open Zionists in their cabinet

    I assume you are referring to Lloyd George. Or perhaps Churchill?

    • Replies: @neutral
    , @German_reader
  189. neutral says:

    You mean that things like the Balfour declaration had nothing to do with the jews… Or how the Rothschilds had no influence in the British government… Just like with current US foreign policy one just needs to ask who benefits, and by far the biggest winners for having a big conflict in Europe was the jews

    • Replies: @DFH
  190. DFH says:
    @neutral

    Balfour declaration =/= Declaration of War on Germany

    I’ll take that as a no for evidence then.

    Or how the Rothschilds had no influence in the British government

    They had had influence on starting the Second Boer War or preserving the Ottoman empire, as was pointed out by contemporaries (including Gladstone).

    by far the biggest winners for having a big conflict in Europe was the jews.

    I think AK has already demonstrated that it was the Romanians.

  191. neutral says:
    @for-the-record

    Beyond those traitors to Western civilization, they already had a jew PM in 1870s, the British Empire was cucked more than a hundred years before the word even came into existence.

    • Replies: @DFH
  192. @for-the-record

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Samuel,_1st_Viscount_Samuel

    Which doesn’t make Neutral’s thesis any more convincing though, the Ottoman empire and Palestine played absolutely no role in the July crisis; and the Turks only entered WW1 in late October for reasons of their own.
    And it’s not even like all Zionists were anti-Turkish, Ben Gurion originally wanted to fight on the side of the Ottomans, only switching sides after the Balfour declaration:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ben-Gurion#World_War_I

    • Replies: @neutral
  193. neutral says:
    @German_reader

    Britain was pro jewish, Germany under the Kaiser was a mixed bag at best. You will come across a fair share of jews writing how the Kaiser was anti semitic and they are correct as Germany was not under such heavy jewish control as Britain was (which to them is already anti semitism).

    Just like the neocohens want a war with both Russia and China, the benefits for bringing down a regime that is not run by them (which was Germany then) should be obvious.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  194. @Anatoly Karlin

    “Poetically, the Jews and Balts paid an extremely heavy price for their disproportionate contribution to the murder of God’s representative on Earth; I think Ashkenazi Jews, Latvians, and Estonians are unique in that there are today fewer of them than in 1918.”

    Damn your cold.

  195. @neutral

    Germany under the Kaiser was a mixed bag at best

    Germany was much better for Jews though than Britain’s ally Russia, which was seen as the chief antisemitic power at the time (and indeed Russian troops behaved in a rather hostile way towards Jews in Galicia during WW1).
    It sounds strange after Nazism, but there was even sometimes a belief among British elites that Jews favoured the central powers or were pro-German (already pre-WW1 in Saki’s When William came. A story of London under the Hohenzollerns Jews are depicted as profiting from a German occupation of London; and in Buchan’s 39 steps one character mentions an old Jew as being behind the pro-German conspiracy – even if Buchan meant to satirize such sentiments, they apparently existed).

    • Replies: @utu
    , @LondonBob
  196. DFH says:
    @neutral

    the British Empire was cucked

    In what way? The complaint about Disraeli was that he put the interests of imperialism/Jews above that of Balkan Christians, which doesn’t really fit the definition of cuckery.

    • Replies: @neutral
  197. neutral says:
    @DFH

    Cucked in that they had a foreigner as their Prime Minister.

  198. Aslangeo says:

    old but good – world war one as a bar fight

    Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of a pub when Serbia bumps into Austria and spills Austria’s pint. Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit because there are splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its support for Austria’s point of view. Britain recommends that everyone calm down a bit.

    Serbia points out that it can’t afford a whole suit, but offers to pay for the cleaning of Austria’s trousers. Russia and Serbia look at Austria. Austria asks Serbia who it’s looking at. Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone. Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling it to do so. Germany appeals to Britain that France has been looking at it, and that this is sufficiently out of order that Britain should not intervene. Britain replies that France can look at who it wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is Germany going to do about it?

    Germany tells Russia to stop looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of such action. Britain and France ask Germany whether it’s looking at Belgium. Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper.

    When they come back, Turkey makes a show of not looking at anyone. Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium. France and Britain punch Germany. Austria punches Russia. Germany punches Britain and France with one hand and Russia with the other. Russia throws a punch at Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from the other side of the room that it’s on Britain’s side, but stays there. Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.

    Australia punches Turkey, and gets punched back. There are no hard feelings because Britain made Australia do it. France gets thrown through a plate glass window, but gets back up and carries on fighting. Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change. Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over anyway.

    Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room chanting. America waits till Germany is about to fall over from sustained punching from Britain and France, then walks over and smashes it with a bar stool, then pretends it won the fight all by itself. By now all the chairs are broken and the big mirror over the bar is shattered. Britain, France and America agree that Germany threw the first punch, so the whole thing is Germany’s fault. While Germany is still unconscious, they go through its pockets, steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all their friends

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • LOL: German_reader
    • Replies: @JackOH
  199. Miro23 says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The world was ruined in 1914.

    One argument is that the aristocracies of Europe had become hopelessly decadent and only needed a good push to collapse. WW1 just speeded up the process.

    Aristocratic rule was already facing multiple challenges from, for example, the new commercial middle classes, democracy, socialist workers and international manufacturing (the US was already outpacing Great Britain by 1900). And Jews didn’t discover Bolshevism in 1917. Jewish radical leftism had been cooking in Central Europe throughout the late 19th Century and had reached a critical state.

  200. utu says:
    @German_reader

    I am pretty confident that if we looked at popular culture and newspaper articles before WWI say in 1900-1914 period in Germany and England we would find that the inevitability or even the necessity of war between Germany and England was more outwardly expressed in England than in Germany. British society was psychologically conditioned for the war more than Germans were. I am sure that the language used by English media was much more inflammatory and aggressive than whatever was written in Germany and had a level of conceit and contempt that Germans would not know it was even possible.

    In 1910 Lord Milner began to publish The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs which targeted the British elite where the case of war with Germany was being made. The first article in October 1910 was titled “Anglo-German Rivalry”

    • Replies: @utu
    , @DFH
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  201. utu says:
    @utu

    https://www.geopolitica.ru/en/article/secret-origins-first-world-war

    Control of politics had never been a problem, nor was control of the press. Lord Northcliffe, the most powerful press-baron, was a valuable contributor to the Secret Elite in their drive to vilify Germany and prepare the nation for eventual war. His ownership of The Times and Daily Mail allowed them to create the impression that Germany was the enemy. In story after story, the message of the German danger to the British Empire, to British products, to British national security, was constantly regurgitated. Not every newspaper followed suit, but the right-wing press was particularly virulent. A large and influential section of the British press worked to the rabid agenda of poisoning the minds of the nation. It was part of a propaganda drive sustained right up to, and throughout, the First World War. If The Times was their intellectual base, the popular dailies spread the gospel of anti-German hatred to the working classes. From 1905 to 1914, spy stories and anti-German articles bordered on lunacy in what was an outrageous attempt to generate fear and resentment.

    Over the last 100 years facts have been twisted and falsified by court historians. Members of the Secret Elite took exceptional care to remove traces of their conspiracy, and letters, telegrams, official reports and cabinet minutes which would have revealed the truth have disappeared. Letters to and from Alfred Milner were removed, burned or otherwise destroyed. Incriminating letters sent by King Edward were subject to an order that, on his death, they must be destroyed immediately.19 Lord Nathan Rothschild, a founder member of the Secret Elite, likewise ordered that his papers and correspondence be burned posthumously lest his political influence and connections became known. As his official biographer commented, one can but “wonder how much of the Rothschild’s political role remains irrevocably hidden from posterity.”

    Professor Quigley pointed an accusatory finger at those who monopolised “so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.” There is no ambivalence in his damning accusation. The Secret Elite controlled the writing and teaching of history through numerous avenues but none more effectively than Oxford University. Milner’s men largely dominated Balliol College, New College and All Souls which, in turn, largely dominated the intellectual life of Oxford in the field of history. They controlled the Dictionary of National Biography which meant the Secret Elite wrote the biographies of its own members. They created their own official history of key members for public consumption, striking out any incriminating evidence and portraying the best public-spirited image that could be safely manufactured. They paid for new chairs of history, politics, economics and, ironically, peace studies.

    There was a systematic conspiracy by the British government to cover all traces of its own devious machinations. Official memoirs covering the origins of the war were carefully scrutinised and censored before being released. Cabinet records for July 1914 relate almost exclusively to Ireland, with no mention of the impending global crisis. No effort has been made to explain why crucial records are missing. In the early 1970s, the Canadian historian Nicholas D’Ombrain noted that War Office records had been “weeded.” During his research he realised that as much as five-sixths of “sensitive” files were removed as he went about his business.22 Why? Where did they go? Who authorised their removal? Were they sent to Hanslope Park, the government repository behind whose barbed-wire fences over 1.2 million secret files, many relating to the First World War, remain concealed today?23 Incredibly, this was not the worst episode of theft and deception.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @DFH
  202. utu says:
    @utu

    If in early 1900′s DFH’s ancestors were British not Polish they could have written this:

    “The Anti German Demonstrations” SOUTHLAND TIMES, ISSUE 15147, 18 JANUARY 1902

    “foreign slanders upon the honour of the British forces serving in South Africa”

    “calumnies circulated in Germany reflecting on the honour of the sons and husbands of the women of the colonies and the Motherland”

    “to defend the fair name of the British army from foul calumniators”

    “in which he has vindicated the honour of Great Britain, and further desires to express its entire confidence in the conduct of the South African war by the British government”

  203. fnn says:
    @LondonBob

    The Tommies likely weren’t much better off in the Great War:

    https://www.counter-currents.com/2011/12/henry-williamson-2/

    …very much the same description was given in the perennially-published basic anti-Nazi text The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by the American journalist William Shirer, whose hatred of Hitler is beyond doubt:

    The young in the Third Reich were growing up to have strong and healthy bodies, faith in the future of their country and in themselves and a sense of fellowship and camaraderie that shattered all class and economic and social barriers. I thought of that later, in the May days of 1940, when along the road between Aachen and Brussels one saw the contrasts between the German soldiers, bronzed and clean cut from a youth spent in the sunshine on an adequate diet, and the first British war prisoners, with their hollow chests, round shoulders, pasty complexions and bad teeth—tragic examples of the youth that England had neglected so irresponsibly in the years between the wars.

  204. Miro23 says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    It is the view taken by Fritz Fischer at the University of Hamburg, David Stevenson at the LSE, David Fromkin at Boston University and Sir Michael Howard at Oxford and Yale. Weltmacht oder Niedergang was firmly official German policy before 1914 and relaunched by Hitler in the 30s.

    In other words, Imperialism.

    I have a book written and published in 1920 by Serbian nationalist Joseph Goricar (who worked in the Austro-Hungarian foreign service ) that clearly and interestingly puts forward the Serbian point of view.
    Title: “The Insider Story of Austro-German Intrigue” (Doubleday, New York). My notes after reading it:

    This book was published in 1920 and was the fruit of 14 years the author spent working in the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service at the level of Consul General.

    As such, it’s a firsthand account of events leading up to WWI which is interesting as this reviewer hasn’t seen it referred to in the current confusing debate. Revisionist author McMeekin says that the Russians and French were at fault, others say the Germans and Austro-Hungarians and still others say that Serbian radicals started it or everyone was “sleepwalking towards war” or perhaps railway timetables and mobilizations took on a life of their own.

    Goricar pins the blame directly on Germany/ Austria-Hungary. Basically this alliance wanted war and Russia and France didn’t, and he provides a good deal of first hand evidence:

    He shows for instance that 30 years before WWI, the ideas of “Lebensraum (living space)” and the “Drang nach Osten (drive to the East)” were well established as where ideas of German racial superiority.

    After Von Moltke’s 1871 victory over the French he wanted a direct attack on Russia. A voluminous Pan-German literature supported these ideas with one example among many being Karl Jentsch’s 1893 book, “Neither Communism nor Capitalism” saying, “The German colonists, spread over these wide areas, would be under the protection of the German Kaiser. In this manner, the whole European East, as well as Asia Minor, would form one mighty German Empire, a rampart for European culture against Russian and Mongol hordes, Germany becoming the Empire of empires.”

    Slavs (i.e. Russians, Poles, Slovenes, Slovaks, Czechs, Serbians, Ruthenes and Ukrainians) were constantly referred to as so-called inferior races and on P.86 he quotes from the address of German publicist Maximilian Harden to an audience which included the foreign minister, Count Berchtold and a dozen leading army generals, “Every war is justified, even against a small people, if it is for the purpose of guarding national prestige and if it brings advantage to your country.”

    Or Hugo Witte, the German consul in Mukden, Manchuria, replying to the author’s question, “Why should Germany proceed aggressively against Russia?”. Answer, “…that Russia has immense, undeveloped and uncultivated territories in her empire. These territories must be opened to human activity. ….Russia must be partitioned among Austria-Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Rumania, Turkey and Japan. …. We must give Russian such a blow that we may take away from her not only the Baltic provinces but also Petrograd, and make Finland independent or give it to Sweden. etc.

    The obvious question is whether these bellicose words were matched by action and the answer is surely yes.

    The Treaty of Berlin 1878 allowed the temporary occupation and administration of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary under the suzerainty of the Sultan of Turkey, however on the 7th October 1908 the territory was formally annexed to Austria-Hungary, much to the consternation of neighbouring Serbia.

    They logically assumed that they were next, and 6 months later they did in fact face an ultimatum from the Austro-Hungarian Council of Ministers requiring the “Unconditional recognition of the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and renunciation of agitation against the Hapsburg monarchy” so under threat of invasion, Serbia accepted the terms on the 31st of March 1909.

    The book doesn’t say it, but from the Austro-Hungarian point of view, they were worried by the example of Serbian nationalism animating nationalist feeling among the many Slavonic peoples within the Empire, threatening its collapse (which eventually happened – but after WWI) or the idea of Pan-Slavism in general.

    The German answer was seen in a pre-emptive strike against Serbia-Russia in a combined Austro-Hungarian and German action especially considering 1) the German view of the invincibility of its army 2) the perceived current weakness of Russian forces.

    Goricar goes at some length into the cynical German-Austrian attempts to hide their strategy but the basic facts still remained. After the assassination of Grand Duke Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary didn’t have to give an ultimatum to Serbia but they did. Germany didn’t have to give the ultimatum unquestioned support but they did, and an international call for a Peace Conference was sidelined and ignored as they headed towards war.

  205. @Bliss

    Precious indeed: who does not need a good toiler bowl mop?

    • Replies: @Bliss
  206. DFH says:
    @utu

    I wish there really was a hidden elite secretly planning the course of world history from high table at All Souls’ in order to secure Anglo world domination

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  207. DFH says:
    @utu

    I am pretty confident that if we looked at popular culture and newspaper articles before WWI say in 1900-1914 period in Germany and England we would find that the inevitability or even the necessity of war between Germany and England was more outwardly expressed in England than in German

    That is not what the Kaiser thought

    I am a friend of England, but you make things difficult for me. My task is not of the easiest. The prevailing sentiment among large sections of the middle and lower classes of my own people is not friendly to England. I am, therefore so to speak, in a minority in my own land

    There’s also the matter of Germany building up a navy purely for the purpose of attacking the Royal navy.

  208. @Excal

    Lyndon Johnson, by contrast, really was wicked, and did more damage than Carter and Wilson combined.

    I am not going to argue with you here: you are probably right and I am not knowledgeable enough about Carter and Johnson.

    But as St Bernard put it, “l’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés” (Hell is full of good will). Wilson might have been extremely well-intentioned (and who knows, maybe he was not), but ye shall know them by their fruits (Mt VII-20). Looking at the fruits we must conclude that Wilson was effectively did the work of a very wicked man — albeit, maybe, involuntarily.

    This man was the epitome of what the WASP ideology has to offer to the world; in particular, being the ultimate judaizing christian heresy, it is through men like him that the jewie grip on America was established.

    • Replies: @Excal
  209. @German_reader

    A not-terribly scholarly but nevertheless interesting popular history of World War I that is definitely pro-German (in the sense that the Germans were so much more militarily effective than the Allies that they deserved to win) is The Myth of the Great War by John Mosier.

    It’s becoming harder and harder for me to read histories of WWI and WWII, which I used to enjoy immensely; I see them now just as huge tragedies of Europeans and European-origin people killing each other in large numbers.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
    , @notanon
  210. @DFH

    John Redwood, a key Brexiteer in the Tory Party, is an historian and a Fellow of All Souls.

  211. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:
    @neutral

    The British government had open Zionists in their cabinet, a war with the Ottomans was to their benefit to as it would give jews their own land.

    was this the agreement before WWI started?

    i thought Balfour happened later

  212. @Prester John

    I can tell, sir, that you do not come from the South!

  213. @Diversity Heretic

    I agree wholeheartedly with your observation. I also think that it reveals something deeply flawed in the Euros otherwise rather fantastic genetic patrimony.

    • Replies: @Anon
  214. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    Yes Christianity

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  215. notanon says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    t’s becoming harder and harder for me to read histories of WWI and WWII, which I used to enjoy immensely; I see them now just as huge tragedies

    yes

  216. Excal says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    I agree with you completely. Those well-intentioned men — Wilson especially — did untold damage. If Carter had arrived at a worse time, the damage would have been still greater, though Iran was certainly a tragedy.

    Johnson was an interesting example of how much damage a talented but wicked politician can do when he sets his mind on it.

  217. Bliss says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    Predictably juvenile, trashy reaction. Like I said: pearls before swine…

    Btw, for all we know Jesus may have sported a jewfro…

  218. Excal says:
    @Anon

    I appreciate the compliment, but regrettably I am not Jewish in any way.

  219. Excal says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    It is an interesting observation. The same imperialistic force was beneficial, and right, in the one case (Polk) and entirely wrong in the other (Wilson, possibly both of the Roosevelts).

    Odd as it may sound, I speculate that there is a species of socialism at the core of the American government, and it may be the root of both types; but with Polk it was still in its old post-Enlightenment type, and not yet the chief motive force; whereas in Wilson’s time it was much closer to the world-saving Socialism we know today.

    I am probably biased, for various reasons, but Polk is one of the US presidents I most admire.

  220. JackOH says:
    @Aslangeo

    Asiangeo, dude, this is brilliant, agree.:)

  221. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Bavarians and Prussians together in one country sounds like a happy outcome

    Or Scots and English.

    I realize you cannot admit this yourself, but it sounds more and more like Russians and Ukrainians are in fact one people separated by tragic circumstances.

    To the same extent as is true of Poles and Ukrainians.

    And unlike many Ukrainians today, you seem to genuinely care for Russia.

    Love the place, culture, and people but if it comes down to Russia vs. Ukraine will choose Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  222. AP says:
    @Epigon

    Ukrainian language is further from Russian than the Scandinavian countries are from each other. And the struggle between Ukrainians and Russians has been more recent and bitter.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  223. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In an alternate world where Russia didn’t turn Communist and been on the winning side of WW1, associating with it would have been very prestigious. Ukrainians would have melded into it without a second thought.

    Ukrainian nationalist parties dominated the 1917 elections in Ukraine. This didn’t come out of nowhere due to the defeat. Best case scenario would have been happy Scots in Britain, not assimilated “we are Russians.”

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mr. XYZ
  224. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Faulty comparison in the follow-up to the below exchange:

    I realize you cannot admit this yourself, but it sounds more and more like Russians and Ukrainians are in fact one people separated by tragic circumstances.

    To the same extent as is true of Poles and Ukrainians.

    One of several counter-points noting how Poland doesn’t trace its national origin to Rus, unlike Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

    In terms of getting the most accurate analogy: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are somewhat analogous to England, Scotland and Wales. Poland and Russia are somewhat analogous to Ireland and English dominated Britain. A key difference being that the Irish haven’t come close to violently attacking and subjugating Britain along the lines of Poland’s past acts against Russia.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  225. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    With Russian and Ukrainian being (if I’m not mistaken) closer to each other than Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as when compared to the Gaelic in Scotland and Ireland to English.

  226. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Ukrainian nationalist parties dominated the 1917 elections in Ukraine. This didn’t come out of nowhere due to the defeat. Best case scenario would have been happy Scots in Britain, not assimilated “we are Russians.”

    Ukrainian nationalist parties dominated the 1917 elections in Ukraine.

    On that 1917 election, what % of the population actually voted? Kerensky’s government pretty much accepted the Scots in Britain reference for Ukraine in a post-Romanovist Russia. The Soviets had their own concept as well. There was also Skoropadsky’s proposal:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    • Replies: @AP
  227. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Without World War I, an independent Poland–let alone an independent Ukraine–would have been much more difficult to achieve, though. Even if Poland would have been able to eventually break away from Russia (if Tsar Nicholas II’s incompetence would have still resulted in him getting overthrown), significant Polish-majority territories would have been located in Germany and Austria-Hungary which Poland could not acquire without a major European war (short of an Austro-Hungarian implosion in the case of Galicia, that is). As for an independent Ukraine, forget it since no non-Bolshevik Russian government would have actually been willing to allow Ukraine to secede from Russia. At best, there could have been a rump Ukrainian state if Austria-Hungary would have eventually still imploded–though even then, Russia could have captured and annexed this rump Ukrainian state.

    • Agree: Miro23
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  228. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Yeah, a separate Ukrainian national identity was already developed by 1917. Still, I don’t see a non-Bolshevik Russia ever letting Ukraine secede short of a massive internal collapse–and even then, it would probably aim to reclaim Ukraine as soon as possible.

  229. Mr. XYZ says:
    @German_reader

    Germany’s fatal mistake in his opinion was the adoption of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 which caused the US to enter the war.

    Completely agreed with this. Pissing off the U.S. was an extremely bad move for Germany even without hindsight.

  230. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    By that logic, wouldn’t Caucasians and Central Asians also be proud to identify as Rossiyane in a scenario where Russia wins WWI?

  231. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    After Wilhelm there would probably have been another Holy Alliance between the monarchies, closely matched but with Russia inevitably eventually playing a leading role due to its size, population and development.

    I doubt that Russia would have been willing to abandon France like that–especially after all of the French loans that it got. Also, simultaneously allying with both France and Germany probably wouldn’t work since France would want Alsace-Lorraine back from Germany.

    Also, WWI could have perhaps ended in 1915 or 1916 had Germany been able to knock France out of the war in 1914. This would have been a somewhat less bloody war and could have possibly still resulted in Ukrainian independence had Germany gotten very ambitious in the East.

    In addition to this, I do wonder just how well off the Western European countries would be in a scenario where WWI never occurred. True, they’d be much better off in the short-run, but without the World Wars, they might be more determined to hold on to their colonies, which could eventually result in a civil rights movement in these colonies where the residents there demand suffrage and the right to freely move to Europe. In turn, this could result in European countries such as France, Britain, and Italy having a much larger percentage of Muslims and Africans in comparison to what they have right now in real life.

  232. Miro23 says:
    @Mikhail

    In terms of getting the most accurate analogy: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are somewhat analogous to England, Scotland and Wales. Poland and Russia are somewhat analogous to Ireland and English dominated Britain. A key difference being that the Irish haven’t come close to violently attacking and subjugating Britain along the lines of Poland’s past acts against Russia.

    A nice analogy for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus vs. England, Scotland and Wales, but wasn’t it more a case of Russia subjugating Poland (3 partitions) until it ceased to exist geographically + giving it a Soviet dictatorship shortly after its post WW1 resurrection?

    The analogy is Russia subjugating Poland in the same way that English dominated Ireland.

    Also, how far back in time do you want to go? If it’s back to the origins of Rus, then Britain was more of a Celtic (Irish) place prior to the arrival of the Germanic Saxons, but even then (for example in 50 A.D.) the majority population were the ethnically and linguistically distinct Old British (Welsh) who’s present remnants can be found in the mountains of Northern Wales.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  233. John Done says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    you yankees still struggle with your identity, haven’t managed to create ‘ american nation’ , let alone ‘american race’

    western civ did quite well before america even existed , thank you very much

    western civ will be better off when america is gone

    being good at tinkering with toys doesn’t mean you’re civilized

    yankee hubris on display

  234. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    At that point in history (around WW I), Russia showed a willingness to consider granting Polish and Finnish independence – on par with how England dominated Britain was considering Irish independence.

    Overall, the Irish and Poles exhibited more of a yearning for independence than the Scots and Ukrainians.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Anon
  235. @utu

    I think that’s nonsense. England did have a Red Dawn like literary genre in which Germans invaded (The Boy Galloper, The Invasion of 1910, When England Slept, When William Came: A History of London under the Hohenzollerns), but so too did Germany. For instance, here are a few chapter titles from Friedrich von Bernhardi’s 1912 “magnum opus” The Next War: ‘The Right to Make War’, ‘The Duty to Make War’, and ‘World Power or Downfall’.

    In fact, while the English military sci-fi literature was defensist in nature, the German one was more territorally aggressive. There was also a lot more nonsense about the spiritual “cleansing” effects of war than amongst the more practically minded Anglos.

    • Replies: @utu
  236. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Miro23

    A nice analogy for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus vs. England, Scotland and Wales, but wasn’t it more a case of Russia subjugating Poland (3 partitions) until it ceased to exist geographically + giving it a Soviet dictatorship shortly after its post WW1 resurrection?

    The analogy is Russia subjugating Poland in the same way that English dominated Ireland.

    As noted, I don’t fully disagree with the analogy concerning Russia-Poland with Britain-Ireland. I’m correct in noting a key difference, having to do with Ireland never coming close to attacking and dominating Britain in the manner of Poland with Russia.

    Going back to history, you’ll see that if anything, Poland initially started the contentious relationship it has had with Russia. Thereafter, Russia had the upper-hand. Notwithstanding, there were close to 100, 000 Poles who joined Napoleon in his attack on Russia, as well as Polish end of WW I imperial action against Russia.

  237. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Mikhail

    AFAIK, Russia was only willing to grant the Poles and Finns independence after the Russian Tsar was overthrown. Without World War I, this is likely to take a lot longer to occur.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  238. LondonBob says:

    Watching Peter Jackson’s documentary last night it was interesting the differentiation by British soldiers, and the German soldiers themselves, between the Geramn regions. Saxons and Bavarians were well liked, whilst all hated the Prussians and blamed them for the war, including the other German soldiers.

    Given the worldwide Jewish jihad against Tsarist Russia I have never seen an analysis of the role the influential German Jewish community had in agitating for war on Russia.

  239. LondonBob says:
    @DFH

    Yes Zionists were keen prolong the war and helped stymie any thoughts of peace in 1916, Lloyd George being bumped up to Prime Minister was aided by Zionist elements.

    http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html

  240. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    Perhaps the same can be said of Britain granting Irish independence?

    If I correctly recall (could be wrong), there was some pre-WW I talk (albeit limited) within Imperial Russian ranks of granting Polish and/or Finnish independence. I’d have to back check if such existed.

    As you might know, Finland as a part of the Russian Empire, had developed the greatest autonomy of any future independent European nation that was under an empire. At least that’s the opinion of a number of folks, including the not so Russia friendly John Lukacs

  241. LondonBob says:
    @German_reader

    Jews did favour Germany, media in the US was pro German, actually anti Russian, and the Allies were refused credit unless it was JP Morgan lending. The Balfour declaration had some impact here but it was more the overthrow of the Tsar that changed things.

  242. @Bliss

    Russia has more Muslims than France and Germany combined. And a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union.

    Slight difference: Russia has Muslims because Russia conquered Muslim lands. Europe has Muslims because Muslims conquered European lands. But other than that, carry on in your quest, lol.

  243. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Not a nonsense. Good hypothesis that is testable. Researching it one must account for different sizes of book markets, the British being much larger than the German. British “invasion literature” was translated to German so it also contribute there. Endings were changed to favor Germany. I would say that the Zeitgeist of war preceding WWI started in England. Propagandizing for war was more intense there than in Germany. One should keep in mind that in more liberal, more democratic countries, which happen to be Anglo-Saxon, the propaganda will be more intense than in authoritarian countries where society is much more disciplined and was ready to obey instruction w/o internalization of propaganda. The degree of vilification and demonization of the enemy in British (and later American) media can’t be matched by anything you could find in German media.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_literature

    “Le Queux’s most popular invasion novel was The Invasion of 1910 (1906) which was translated into twenty-seven languages selling more than a million copies world-wide. Le Queux and his publisher changed the ending depending on the language, so in the German print edition the fatherland wins, while in the English edition the Germans lose. Le Queux was said to be Queen Alexandra’s favorite author.”

    “Invasion literature (or the invasion novel) is a literary genre most notable between 1871 and the First World War (1914) but still practised to this day. The genre first became recognizable starting in Britain in 1871 with The Battle of Dorking, a fictional account of an invasion of England by Germany. This short story was so popular it started a literary craze for tales that aroused imaginations and anxieties about hypothetical invasions by foreign powers, and by 1914 the genre had amassed a corpus of over 400 books, many best-sellers, and a world-wide audience.”

    “Stories of a planned German invasion rose to increasing political prominence from 1906. Taking their inspiration from the stories of Le Queux and Childers, hundreds of ordinary citizens began to suspect foreigners of espionage. This trend was accentuated by Le Queux, who collected ‘sightings’ brought to his attention by readers and raised them through his association with the Daily Mail. Subsequent research has since shown that no significant German espionage network existed in Britain at this time. Claims about the scale of German invasion preparations grew increasingly ambitious. The number of German spies was put at between 60,000 and 300,000 (in spite of the total German community in Britain being no more than 44,000 people). It was alleged that thousands of rifles were being stockpiled by German spies in order to arm saboteurs at the outbreak of war.”

    Calls for government action grew ever more intense, and in 1909 it was given as the reason for the secret foundation of the Secret Service Bureau, the forerunner of MI5 and MI6. Historians today debate whether this was in fact the real reason, but in any case the concerns raised in invasion literature came to define the early duties of the Bureau’s Home Section. Vernon Kell, the section head, remained obsessed with the location of these saboteurs, focusing his operational plans both before and during the war on defeating the saboteurs imagined by Le Queux.”

    “Invasion literature was not without detractors; policy experts in the years preceding the First World War said invasion literature risked inciting war between England and Germany and France. Critics such as Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman denounced Le Queux’s The Invasion of 1910 as “calculated to inflame public opinion abroad and alarm the more ignorant public at home.“[1] Journalist Charles Lowe wrote in 1910: “Among all the causes contributing to the continuance of a state of bad blood between England and Germany perhaps the most potent is the baneful industry of those unscrupulous writers who are forever asserting that the Germans are only awaiting a fitting opportunity to attack us in our island home and burst us up.””

    https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/literature

    “Although there were often similarities between different countries’ experiences, authors started writing about the war for many reasons. In Britain, literature about a possible war to come had been prominent since the publication of Sir George Chesney’s (1830-1895) The Battle of Dorking in 1871, soon after the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War. There followed a plethora of imagined invasion literature published in the years before 1914. From the early 1900s, the press baron Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe’s (1865-1922) publications ensured that anti-German sentiment was a dominant feature of popular fiction, newspapers and magazines, as tensions rose on the European continent. Similar material was appearing outside Britain. The French writer Émile Driant (1855-1916), writing under the pseudonym Capitaine Danrit, wrote many guerre imaginaire (imaginary war) novels. He explored a future war with Germany in La Guerre de demain (The War of Tomorrow: 1888), and a conflict with Britain in Guerre fatale: France-Angleterre (Fatal War: France-England: 1902). Driant was recalled to the army when war broke out in 1914. He attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was killed at Verdun in 1916. These imaginings of future wars were extremely popular. Their warnings certainly contributed to a climate in which people were anticipating war in Europe, long before the events in Sarajevo in 1914.”

  244. AP says:
    @DFH

    I neglected to mention France in my post. It’s motivation was no less base than was Britain’s – France was bitter that Germany had liberated territories that were 80% ethnic German and wanted those territories back.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Mr. XYZ
  245. AP says:
    @Mikhail

    On that 1917 election, what % of the population actually voted?

    Turnout was about 49%. Support for ethnic Russian parties like cadets matched Russian population so the results were probably proportionate.

    At that time Ukrainian nationalist parties promoted a local parliament, local military units and Ukrainianization of schools but not full independence (this declaration came in response to the Bolshevik takeover in Petersburg and Bolshevik support for communist revolution in Ukraine), so there might have been a possibility in a victorious prestigious Russia for a happy Scots situation. But full assimilation was wishful thinking.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  246. songbird says:
    @neutral

    I think Bliss is rooting for the non-Muslim, non-whites to take over Europe, in contrast to certain others. Or have I missed my guess?

  247. @AP

    I neglected to mention France in my post. It’s motivation was no less base than was Britain’s – France was bitter that Germany had liberated territories that were 80% ethnic German and wanted those territories back.

    They spoke a Germannic dialect, but that did not mean that they made good Germans.

  248. utu says:

    I have just noticed that in Chrome I see more comments on this page than in Safari. Anybody could explain it?

    • Replies: @utu
    , @notanon
  249. utu says:
    @utu

    After posting this comment everything went to normal.

    • Replies: @AP
  250. AP says:
    @utu

    Cookies. When I post from my office I also see fewer comments until I make one.

  251. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    The people in Alsace-Lorraine, while mostly ethnically German, appear to have preferred France in 1871. A majority of voters in Alsace-Lorraine in the 1870s and 1880s voted for a pro-French party (or pro-French parties)–with an additional 30% or so of Alsace-Lorraine voters voting for autonomist parties.

    Still, France should have refrained from starting the Franco-Prussian War. It’s in very poor taste to start a war and then to complain when you lose territory as a result of losing this war.

    • Replies: @AP
  252. SveVid says:
    @German_reader

    There is a Russian connection to the Franz Ferdinand assasination.

    A fervent member of the “Black Hand” and “Young Bosnia” was the mysterious Mustafa Golubic, a Bosnian Muslim (although he considered himself an ethnic Serb) from Herzegovina. At the time, he was also an agent of the Russian Imperial Secret Service the Ohrana. His handler was an agent known under the alias “Verhovskij” who was also secretly working for the Bolsheviks (later became a prominent member of the Cheka/OGPU). Verhovskij via Mustafa Golubic encouraged and provided logistical support to the assasination squad .

    Bio of Mustafa Golubic (aka the Red James Bond) is astounding….a man with a 100 names and 250 passports

    Among his exploits, he is credited with organising the kiliing of General Wrangel, was involved in the killing of Trotsky, knew personally both Lenin and Stalin …..was the rival of Tito, who is rumoured to have eventually tipped off the Gestapo in 1941 which led to his arrest and execution. He was a taboo subject during Tito’s rule in Yugoslavia.

    Interesting trivia: he is said to have slept with Greta Garbo and some other Hollywood actresses while serving as a NKVD agent in the US

    His Grave stone in Belgrade, simply says: Mustafa Golubic – Hero of the USSR

    Bio:

    http://conservativepoliticalforum.com/history/mustafa-golubic/

  253. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Question–wasn’t the Russian Provisional Government only willing to give autonomy to central and western Ukraine and not to southern and eastern Ukraine?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  254. Gerard2 says:
    @Mikhail

    Massie has put out some great stuff. A fluent Russian speaker to boot.

    The less said about Michael McFaul’s level of Russian….the better. Totally incompetent. I’m convinced that most western journalists in Russia are not only corrupt and stupid…..they can’t speak or understand Russian properly. It would be alright not speaking it…if they could at least understand Russia…but they are too braindead.

    But yes, Massie is a genuine russophile and good woman. Professor Stephan Cohen goes on and on about NATO and security but not about Russia as a whole, thus in defending Russia, he’s not making the case for Russia.

    Who in these circles of academia is making the obvious statement that, unlike Russia, corrupt Nazi-scumbag Ukropia does not have governor elections, entirely because it is non-democratic and the US dictated it doesn’t have so because to do so would guarantee ( in a fair fight) big, powerful cultural russophiles/Russians as governor in power in several key regions and further expose how fake and ridiculous the whole “Ukraine” and svidomy thing is?

    Russia of course does have many governor elections, but for most of the previous decade it didn’t- although for entirely normal, entirely democratic and sensible reasons, given it’s size, diferent ethnicities and so on. There was nothing remotely “dictator”-like about Governor elections being removed. Ukraine, on the other hand never having them this millennium was an entirely US-diktat, anti-democratic garbage heap.

    I mention the governor elections issue because it was also used by the moronic western clowns in politics and the press to use as “proof” of their main point BS of Russia being “authoritarian”

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  255. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    The people in Alsace-Lorraine, while mostly ethnically German, appear to have preferred France in 1871. A majority of voters in Alsace-Lorraine in the 1870s and 1880s voted for a pro-French party (or pro-French parties)–with an additional 30% or so of Alsace-Lorraine voters voting for autonomist parties.

    Wiki doesn’t differentiate autonomists from separatists. After 1900 they were below 50% in support.

    A pro-Nazi party won the elections in Strasburg in the 1930s. So this border region seems to have shown ambivalence about its place.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Mr. XYZ
  256. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    Question–wasn’t the Russian Provisional Government only willing to give autonomy to central and western Ukraine and not to southern and eastern Ukraine?

    That question leads to what was considered as part of Ukraine (then known to a good extent as Little Russia), relative to the Russian Empire.

    The Ukrainian SSR’s borders came later.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  257. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Gerard2

    Stephen Cohen has some Sovok tendencies like the idea that the Western allies were actively supporting the Whites against the Bolshes.

    Your point about Western journos concerns a babbling hack like Tom Rogan:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/23/naming-top-anti-russian-advocates.html

    Ther’re also the flack Russian speaking Western mass media preferred journos as well.

    Yeah, I remember the hoopla about the governor elections and what was typically downplayed as noted here:

    http://www.russialist.org/archives/8375-25.php

  258. @Anon

    Christianity is not genetic, I am afraid.

    However where I would agree with you, would be with the fact that liberal Christianity (i.e., the dominant form in the West since at least the 1930s) seems to especially infect Europeans — and even more so, Northern Europeans. Why is that?

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  259. @for-the-record

    Québec is a bit peculiar as a result of the insularity of the French Canadians, immersed in an ocean of English speakers.

    This has resulted in a dialectal variety of French that is a bit impoverished, having had to resorte to direct borrowings (with literal translation) from English. See for instance the horrid magasiner, a literal translation from “shopping”. Their accent is kind of nice however.

    Your observation about “true” French of the 18th C. must be qualified however: one has to remember that at that time that you mentioned, less than half, maybe just about a third, of what is currently “France” spoke French as a first language. Even at the onset of WW1, before the great slaughters of the summer/fall 1914, many regiments were uni-lingual with a language that was NOT French. There have been several direct observations, reported in diaries, of commissioned officers (coming from Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in Paris) having a hard time getting understood by the lower ranks of provençal regiments.

    I think that highly educated Africans of former AEF speak a very nice form a French; it is less true for those of the former AOF, where population density was much higher on the coasts.

    But, in all fairness, I must state that the purest form of French is to be found in Lausanne :)

    • Replies: @Matra
  260. But, in all fairness, I must state that the purest form of French is to be found in Lausanne :)

    The first time I visited Lausanne (in my late teens) I was inordinately amused by the abbreviations on the license plates, VD being a very popular English term in those days (now largely replaced by STD).

  261. Matra says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    They also say fin de semaine. I think they just say un weekend in France.

    • Agree: Guillaume Tell
  262. @AP

    But that something like the Zabern Affair could occur as late as 1913 even in a city which fell on the German side of the sprachraum shows that they were still not full Germans.

    It also seems like they were unreliable in the Western Front during the First World War.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  263. Bliss says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There is no Russian city that Muslims are taking over.

    Many if not most Muslims in Russia live in semiautonomous Republics like Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya, Dagestan etc, so who controls the cities of these Republics if not muslims?

    It is happening aplenty in Western Europe.

    No city in Western Europe has a majority or plurality of muslims, while a number of cities in Russia do. Unless you don’t count the capitals of the ethnic Republics as Russian cities. If so, why not?

    The point is this: Russia has a lot more reasons to worry about muslims than any Western European country. The bloody Chechen Wars should serve as a recent reminder of what awaits Russia in the future.

    The many millions of Muslim Tatars/Turks in Russia haven’t forgotten that not so long ago their ancestors were the Masters and the Christian Russians their slaves. And there are over 60 million more muslims speaking their language on the other side of the border in Greater Turkestan. Plus Turkey isn’t far away either.

    Fortunately for Russia it is still by far the most powerful nation of Eurasia…

  264. Gerard2 says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I’m sorry Thorfinnsson, you’re an incredibly intelligent guy, but your post is utter nonsense

    WW1 caused the horror of world communism

    It is ridiculous to use a nonsensical “one-size” comment like that

    For the interesting and excellent “Great Name of Russia” public project currently underway to name 47 Russian airports…….. the decent majority of the names on the shortlist are from the Communist era…..war heroes, aviators, other engineers and scientists or culture figures produced in the USSR. Generalised stupid comments of “horrors of world communism” are proven worthless when you see how many great people produced and who Russians idolise….and the immense number of pre-1917 great Russians who are not in the final group

    At the same time there is no competition of reds versus everybody else for this patriotic competition……Tsars are there, numerous people under the patronage of the tsar…Solzhenitsyn is on the shortlist for one of the airports in Stavropol

    It makes some of the drivel that 5th column hamsters like Anatoly Karlin-Soros come out with as even more ridiculous ( disrespecting Victory Day and much of Russian heritage , probably wanting to name airport the “Yevgenia Albats ” or Boris Nemtsov International” etc)

    On a separate but amusing note, useless, fake countries as Ukraine would never ever be able to have a “great name of Ukraine” Airport competition due to the fact that they would practically all be Russians/Soviet/Russian world people on the list. it would result in a massive embarrassment fot the current authorities there

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  265. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    I don’t remember which Wiki it was, but either the French Wiki or the German Wiki did differentiate separatists from autonomists in its article about Alsace-Lorraine.

    As for a pro-Nazi party winning in Strasbourg in the 1930s, I’ll need a source in order for me to actually believe this. Do you have such a source?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  266. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Mikhail

    Well, eastern and southern Ukraine were also Ukrainian-majority in 1897, but they had a larger ethnic Russian presence than central and western Ukraine had. They were also more literate in 1897 than central and western Ukraine were with the exception of Galicia.

  267. Mikhail says: • Website

    Galicia wasn’t part of the Russian Empire.

  268. @Mr. XYZ

    As for a pro-Nazi party winning in Strasbourg in the 1930s, I’ll need a source in order for me to actually believe this. Do you have such a source?

    I think AP is referring to the 1929 municipal election.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strasbourg_municipal_election,_1929

    Although the Volksfront at this time was a broad autonomist coalition, and was later split apart by the question of National Socialism.

    From Szenenwechsel im Elsass: Theater und Gesellschaft in Straßburg zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich : 1890 – 1944, if I am reading it correct, in the subsequent 1935 muncipal Strasbourg election the autonomists lost their majority with 20 (French) national-minded and 16 autonomist-minded being elected.

    In 1935 four autonomists were pro-Nazi Landespartei, two Progress party and ten Communists.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  269. Anon[184] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    The Irish had to suffer because as the past century has demonstrated they are incredibly annoying when not suffering. But when they are oppressed they win over the whole world.

  270. @Hyperborean

    Although the Volksfront at this time was a broad autonomist coalition, and was later split apart by the question of National Socialism.

    In 1929 elections, out of the autonomist Volksfront, the Landespartei won 5 seats, the Communists 11 seats, Popular Republican Union 4 seats and liberal Alsatian Progress Party 2 seats.

    The national-minded Democrats won 7 and socialists won 4 seats.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  271. @Hyperborean

    Complicating the issue was that the communists in Alsace gradually went renegade and became fascist, eventually merging with the Landespartei, which had also gradually become more fascist, in 1939.

  272. World trade was comparable as a percentage of GDP in 1914 to today’s levels.

    But a larger percentage of GDP was tradable. So a smaller percentage of manufacturing was traded back then.

  273. There’s no comparable webs of alliances.

    There is at least one such web (NATO), but since many of the alliances back then were propped up by secret treaties and agreements, and were often finalized in the last minute, it’s difficult to be certain about it. What would happen if there was a war between North Korea and the US? It’s possible that the whole of NATO and SCO would get involved on both sides.

    The alliances are theoretically always purely defensive, but in a real conflict it’s often difficult to tell which country is the aggressor. There is often just some vague declaration of friendship and mutual respect there, but when push comes to shove, the parties might feel compelled to join the war. So defensive alliances can be offensive, and vague and meaningless agreements can turn into real alliances.

  274. Mikhail says: • Website

    On the subject of Russia in WW I, this article has a US foreign policy establishment realism slant, that omits some pertinent points:

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/lessons-world-war-i-still-haunt-russia-today-35672

    Russia’s WW I action involved launching an offensive strike into Germany early into that war – when it wasn’t ready to do so. Imagine the USSR attempting to do such in 1941 or before.

    It has said that Stalin’s reluctance to confront Germany prior to June 22, 1941, was motivated by what had happened to Russia in WW I. As for WW I, Max Hastings believes that the outcome for Russia would’ve been better if that war had begun at least two years later.

    In WW I, Russia fought effectively against the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian forces. The timing of when WW I began and how Russia fought that war had a devastating effect on the country.

    Related:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/22/reexamining-russias-past.html

  275. @Hyperborean

    But that something like the Zabern Affair could occur as late as 1913 even in a city which fell on the German side of the sprachraum shows that they were still not full Germans.

    It might be more accurate to say that they were not fully “Prussianized”.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  276. @for-the-record

    During the Second World War many Alsatians served in the Waffen-SS, though they were to an extent forced to do so. But for example the SS company which committed the infamous Oradour-sur-Glane massacre included many Alsatians, and though they claimed to have served in the Waffen-SS against their will, I find it difficult to believe. The SS division in question was one of the most prominent elite divisions, and I don’t think people serving there should be believed. I’d find their case more believable if it was some substandard SS unit, though even then they’d obviously be motivated to lie.

    In general there is a gray zone of motivation for people, where they have (or they would have, if they had the opportunity to choose) different preferences from what they actually are compelled to do, but they convince themselves that the situation is, after all, not that bad, or even actually good, and it’s difficult to disentangle how much they are compelled by force and how much they are indifferent, or actively support the situation.

    • Replies: @utu
  277. @Guillaume Tell

    liberal “Christianity”

    You’re not a Christian unless you’re in a Church actually founded by Christ.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  278. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    “I don’t think people serving there should be believed” – why?

    http://wuenheim.free.fr/histoire/EXTRAITS.pdf

    Recruitment into the Waffen-SS started in Alsace in the Fall of 1940, however without any significant success. By December 1940, there were only 68 volunteers and by November 1941, despite an intense campaign, the number only increased to about 322 volunteers, including a number of Germans living in Alsace. (As a comparison, French citizens where not subjected to the same pressures as the Alsatian population (annexation, internment, etc.), yet France provided 2480 volunteers to the Waffen-SS by 1944 and about 8000 men for SS Charlemagne Division).

    By early 1943 the campaign to push young Alsatians to volunteer to complete their military service in the Waffen-SS intensifies, yet again only 146 followed the call. In some cases, a number of these commitments ended up being cancelled due to the intervention of parents at recruitment centers. These poor showings resulted in Gauleiter Wagner to conclude an agreement with Himmler in late 1943 to secure 2000 men (50%) of the class of 1926. Following this agreement 2000 young Alsatians were automatically incorporated into the Waffen SS, most of them in Das Reich.

    German authorities understood very well that sending these men to a Waffen-SS unit had the benefit of a unit with stricter discipline and less opportunities to desert. SS deserters were very unpopular with Allied/Russian troops or the general population, particularly in France.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @reiner Tor
  279. @utu

    Interesting.

    I didn’t know that such involuntary recruitment existed for Das Reich.

  280. @utu

    On the other hand, being unwilling to join the military during times of war is not necessarily a sign of extreme disloyalty. In Germany, the Waffen-SS had many volunteers, because young men had to serve in the Wehrmacht anyway, then why not in an elite unit? They had also been propagandized since a very young age. This was untrue of Alsace, where young men had the option of just staying home.

    In Hungary the appeal of the pro-Nazi ethnic German organization Volksbund was seriously limited after the outbreak of the war, because it achieved the option for ethnic Germans to serve their military service in the Waffen-SS, which many were unwilling to do, due to the higher chance of being killed in action. (The vast majority of Hungarian troops weren’t sent to the front until 1944.)

    So it’s a bad sign (Alsatians were probably not very loyal), but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they preferred French over German rule by wide (or any) margin.

  281. Mikhail says: • Website

    On the earlier discussed matter of analogies, here’s one concerning Montenegro and Ukraine:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/13/intensified-ukrainization-new-nato-member-montenegro.html

    Emphasizing how no two situations are exactly the same.

  282. @Gerard2

    Well, I am campaigning for Saratov-Stolypin

  283. @anonymous coward

    Yes, and if you were courteous enough to tell me which one, amongst the very many whose claim is to be exactly that — and even more so, the only such one — that would greatly help me resolve many politico-religious problems.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  284. @German_reader

    Thanks for these references. My Prussian grandfather fought in the East during WW1, and a few times I asked him about it. He rarely spoke (and when he did it was in German). But he liked his Schnapps, and once he told me: “Arms and legs flying in the air.”

  285. 5371 says:

    I’m afraid this is an NPC piece.

  286. @Guillaume Tell

    Yes, and if you were courteous enough to tell me which one, amongst the very many whose claim is to be exactly that — and even more so, the only such one — that would greatly help me resolve many politico-religious problems.

    It doesn’t matter who claims what. Every bishop and priest of the Church has a clearly documented chain of ordination that can be easily traced back to Christ. Defrocked and excommunicated priests are likewise clearly documented.

    Your attempts at sarcasm are a sign of profound ignorance. Do your modicum of grade-school tier research.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  287. Anon[418] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mikhail

    Britain was not considering Irish independence, they were considering “Home Rule” and tending to pussyfoot around it. And then you had the bizarre Carsonite phenomenon of threatening civil war from Ulster and apparently looking to
    Germany for aid if Home Rule was granted, leading to the even stranger Curragh mutiny.

  288. @anonymous coward

    You are writing “the Church”, just as if such an entity was well defined, in the logical sense of existing in an unambiguous way warranting the use of the deteminate article, “

    the

    ”.

    The problem is that such an unambiguous construct does not exist: the concept is therefore wholly un-operative.

    In addition (I will send you back to your own studies, Sir), many Christian denominations have long abandoned the claim to apostolic succession, even though the same continue to call their hierarchs “bishops”. So much for your claim that “every bishop” has a clear and documented trace of apostolic succession all the way back to OLJC.

    But I now realize that you were probably writing the lines above, making the implicit assumption that “the Church” is the corporate entity whose headquarters are currently in the Vatican, with head maffioso some South American crook named Jorge B. If so, then I do not doubt that, indeed, many generations of clerics have long forged the documents needed to establish a “clear” line of succession to Peter, Matthew, or any other amongst the Twelve.

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