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Customer Discussions > History forum

THE FIRST WORLD WAR - who wants to talk about it?

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Showing 751-775 of 858 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 8:18:01 AM PST
R. Largess says:
And how about Napoleon's continental system?

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 8:27:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012 8:27:58 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
Mencken covered the 1925 monkey trial in person, and had a great time checking out holy-roller meetings in the sticks. The thing was a complete three-ring circus. He had absolutely no respect for Bryan whatsoever, and savagely derided him after he died.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 10:23:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2013 2:57:53 PM PST
Steelers fan says:
Bryan, on the Scopes prosecution team, was foolish enough to take the stand and testify. Master courtroom tactician Clarence Darrow led him down a merry path in which he was asked to explain Biblical accounts at odds with science. Bryan, a Fundamentalist, fell right into Darrow's trap; believing the Bible to be literally true and utterly without factual error, and not a book of metaphor, while at the same time trying to acknowledge generalities, he gamely tried to explain things like the sun standing still during the battle of Jericho. The poor man became more and more frustrated. It ended badly.

Q--Then, when the Bible said, for instance, "and God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day," that does not necessarily mean twenty-four hours?
A--I do not think it necessarily does.
Q--Do you think it does or does not?
A--I know a great many think so.
Q--What do you think?
A--I do not think it does.
Q--You think those were not literal days?
A--I do not think they were twenty-four-hour days.
Q--What do you think about it?
A--That is my opinion--I do not know that my opinion is better on that subject than those who think it does.
Q--You do not think that ?
A--No. But I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make the earth in six days as in six years or in 6,000,000 years or in 600,000,000 years. I do not think it important whether we believe one or the other.
Q--Do you think those were literal days?
A--My impression is they were periods, but I would not attempt to argue as against anybody who wanted to believe in literal days.
Q--I will read it to you from the Bible: "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." Do you think that is why the serpent is compelled to crawl upon its belly?
A--I believe that.
Q--Have you any idea how the snake went before that time?
A--No, sir.
Q--Do you know whether he walked on his tail or not?
A--No, sir. I have no way to know. (Laughter in audience).
Q--Now, you refer to the cloud that was put in heaven after the flood, the rainbow. Do you believe in that?
A--Read it.
Q--All right, Mr. Bryan, I will read it for you.
Bryan--Your Honor, I think I can shorten this testimony. The only purpose Mr. Darrow has is to slur at the Bible, but I will answer his question. I will answer it all at once, and I have no objection in the world, I want the world to know that this man, who does not believe in a God, is trying to use a court in Tennessee--
Darrow--I object to that.
Bryan--(Continuing) to slur at it, and while it will require time, I am willing to take it.
Darrow--I object to your statement. I am exempting you on your fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.
The Court--Court is adjourned until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 10:26:41 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
Outside the courtroom, Darrow and Bryan got along well with each other. But the stupid ordeal in the hot summertime took its toll on the aging political warhorse. Bryan went to his reward without ever leaving Tennessee, becoming something of a Fundamentalist martyr for the cause.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 10:28:35 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
I guess old Clare was "slurring" the Bible, not "slandering" it. Slurring is much worse, I suppose.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 1:00:13 PM PST
yes, Nappy's continental system...leaked like a you-know-what, but more for political than economic reasons, I think.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 1:44:43 PM PST
To F. Barrineau:

Have you read Dreadnaught by Massie? It covers the years leading up to WWI in detail. And it is fun to read. It is amazing the impact the Kaiser and his admiral Tirpitz had on the world. How Tirpitz and the Kaiser ignored the peril they were placing the English nation in with their fleet building program is incomprehensible. Pride may be the keynote concept in what started WWI, but the numerous national and international entanglements are covered well in Dreadnaught. The link: Dreadnought


Posted on Dec 1, 2012 2:04:07 PM PST
Steelers fan says:
The "Attorney For The Damned" and "The Great Commoner" at the monkey trial. Fans were provided by a local establishment; they had "Do Your Gums Bleed?" printed on them.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 2:04:54 PM PST
To Montgomery:

I would add Dreadnaught by Massie to your list. It is a detailed account of the years prior to WWI, especially the personalities and events that shaped the world in that time. Dreadnought

I think WWI and WWII were closely linked; thus, to a large extent one led to the other. Adolf Hitler is the independent intervening event that cannot be calculated into any equation linking the wars. However, because of the obvious linkage as well as the cost of the war, I think WWI is the most important war in modern history. A major impact was on the psychology and philosophy of the modern world. Suddenly, progress in itself could be evil, and the future was not bright and promising. The artists and philosophers were already predicting a terrible future, and WWI proved them right. The seeds of post modern pessimism and gloom were planted and well watered during WWI.

Many defend post modernism, claiming it isn't pessimistic; however, look at the literature, art, and philosophies springing from WWI and the so called post modern world. Note that in the foundations of post modernism there are NO overarching themes in history. History is just one event piled on another with no guiding story, theme, or end. As stated by Homer Simpson: Its just a bunch of stuff that happened. After WWI it would be difficult to construct a meaningful future from the events of modern history alone. And this is where WWI has its greatest impact: on the thought processes of the present world. A fairly good world was growing up in 1900. That world was totally destroyed by WWI because it destroyed faith in the future and in the ability of men to lead us to an improved future. The national leaders of WWI were so rotten it is criminal. To allow the slaughter to continue for any reason was madness, and that is what everyone - except their own leaders - saw. That mindset change, from positive and hopeful to pessimistic and fearful, was critical and normally not examined by historians (or anyone else).


Posted on Dec 1, 2012 2:09:57 PM PST
Steelers fan says:
"You are, all of you, a lost generation."--Gertrude Stein

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 4:12:01 PM PST
it's been said that there was one giant war in the 20th century, its two halves separated by a 20 year truce (as Foch called the "peace" of 1919).

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 9:07:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 9:10:31 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
Except that the second world war was much simpler in its direct cause, and its execution--totalitarian regimes grabbing huge chunks of the globe for themselves. An ironic thing about the Great War was, though it was a meat-grinder in terms of human life, and did cause the map of Europe to be redrawn, in actuality battle lines didn't move that much from campaign to campaign.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 9:08:56 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
WWI introduced, or saw the widespread use of, more different types of new killing technology than any other conflict in history.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 8:10:56 AM PST
Steelers Fan:

A quick footnote to your most recent post.

I was once reading an excerpt of a new books about WWI, whose title I now (much to my regret) can't recall. But one fact mentioned there that really grabbed me by the guts was the fact that a lot of the serious injuries were caused by shrapnel.

Now most of the time, when we hear the term "shrapnel", we think of pieces of metal or perhaps concrete that are hit by a shell and send smaller pieces flying at high enough speeds to become dangerous weapons themselves. But as this writer argued, most of the cases of serious shrapnel injuries in the Great War were large chunks of bone from other soldiers who had been hit by a shell or bullet. The bones of these fellow soldiers were then projected at high velocities and penetrated the bodies of their comrades standing, sitting or lying nearby. And since they were bones,the wounds were more irregular and harder to handle and the danger of infection was actually increased.

It's 1915; welcome to the modern world.

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 10:29:54 AM PST
shells could be designed to shower the enemy with little pieces of the shell itself.

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 11:33:29 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
That must have been why the command to go "over the top" was so dreaded. Spielberg's "War Horse", a good film, gets at the fear that existed in the trenches. The refusal of that order meant summary execution.

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 11:39:51 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
The uniform and helmet of the time didn't offer much protection. The series "Boardwalk Empire" shows the pitiful attempts at facial reconstruction available to disfigured veterans.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 4:23:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2012 4:23:29 PM PST
R. Largess says:
Certainly on the issue of the German navy WWII was a replay of WWI by people determined to get it right this time. When Scheer gave up on the surface fleet as a means to victory, and backed unrestricted submarine warfare, the surface fleet rotted in harbor, its best men taken for the submarines. Its morale fell apart and in the end, it was the place where revolution broke out first in 1918. Raeder was determined to use the German surface ships aggressively in WWII, and did so in many bold, daring actions, culminating in the loss of the Bismarck in 1941 while seeking to break out into the Atlantic as a surface raider.
Doenitz, on the other hand was determined to redeem the failure of the U-boats. He developed the tactics to defeat the convoys which themselves had defeated the U-boats in WWI. Submerged submarines (until after WWII) were extremely slow, almost immobile. They needed to approach their targets on the surface, getting into a firing position ahead of the convoy, so its escorts could easily spot the sub and force it down. Doenitz devised the "Wolf Pack" or Rudeltaktik, in which U-boats would be homed onto convoys by radio from their land-based commander, and attack at night, penetrating the convoy's screen on the surface. The U-boats of WWII were not drastically different from WWI, but the radio control would not have been possible I think.

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 5:48:51 PM PST
good analysis

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 9:09:02 PM PST
ipsofacto says:
The steel helmets used by both sides were effective at stopping both shrapnel balls and shell splinters. The combatants didn't adopt them before the case for them was conclusively proven in the field.

I believe the tin mask guy from Boardwalk Empire fought a duel with a German sniper and won -- sort of. Sniper bullets still defeat any type of body armour.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 4:27:40 AM PST
R. Largess says:
AD2 - You are certainly right about the pessimism of the 20th century. In terms of external events it is pretty uniquely grim, with its world wars, ideologically driven genocides, and use of science to create weapons. Philosophically it is also unbelievably dark; its message is, as you say, history and human life themselves have no meaning. Of course, some people find that liberating - Nietzsche for example. Others think the best we can do is pretend it does - choose our own irrational codes and live by them, like Camus or Hemingway. Certainly "A Farewell to Arms" is the perfect expression of the role of WWI in this disillusionment. But the ideas precede WWI (Nietzsche again). You find them in the Naturalists: like Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Jack London in the US, or Zola in France.

Posted on Dec 4, 2012 10:21:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2012 10:21:51 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
I didn't know that the cause of Richard's injuries in "Boardwalk Empire" was specifically mentioned. It's been awhile since I saw season 1. Almost the entire left side of his face and left eye are missing; the skullbones are gone, which would have probably been caused by some sort of mushrooming soft type of ammunition, or a shell. Heartrending.

Posted on Dec 4, 2012 10:22:36 AM PST
Steelers fan says:
Or a grenade at close range. The right side of his skull is intact.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 3:06:24 PM PST
adc says:
What's to say about World War I? A war initiated by a combination of the hubris of monarchies, emergent capitalist trade wars, the end of 'colonizable' land mass, and the inability of Europe to see that it was no longer the 'center of the universe.'

The efforts of the European so-called 'great powers' at the end of the conflict to maintain the ante bellum status quo, beginning with a peace process that rejected input from one of the states most affected by the war and proceeding through the creation of an international body doomed to impotence by its creators at birth, was certainly one of the causes of the Second World War.

And the US doesn't escape censure, either, as its petulent withdrawal from participation in both the League of Nations and the various post-war Commissions left European affairs completely in the hands of those people -least- likely to render decisions with even the illusion of even-handedness.

My book recommendation is _The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe, 1918-1933_, by Sally Marks.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 11:10:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2012 11:29:20 PM PST
ipsofacto says:
His injuries do seem excessive for a bullet. The Germans were particular about the Hague Convention, so dumdums are unlikely. In contrast, the legendary sniper Simo Häyhä took a Russian WW1-issue explosive bullet in the upper jaw and ended up with a lopsided grin...
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  94
Total posts:  858
Initial post:  Nov 4, 2009
Latest post:  Apr 9, 2013

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