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2 WWII questions

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Showing 51-75 of 154 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013, 5:32:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013, 5:35:16 PM PST
Aluf B. says:
John M Lane:

Promised Land Crusader State by McDougall. It is an interesting review of the issues.
There is NO WAY to make a comparison of this sort at all.
Yet, you know who makes this type of comparison.
Comparative history is a difficult endeavor and the factors must match to then have a better understanding of those issues.

Have you read this book?

Love Always,


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013, 12:01:01 AM PST
That was the way of the world back then, it was rule of man, not rule of law. We are slightly more civilized today, but we have a long way to go before I'd count on civilized behavior from anyone in a pinch.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013, 6:59:15 AM PST
Laker Fan says:
DarthRad wrote:
"Well then this is definitely a must read for you:
German Boy: A Child in War"

Thanks for the recommendation. A while back you recommended "Grave of the Fireflies", I must confess that after reading the reviews of the wrenching emotions this movie can generate, I have not yet gathered the courage to see it. But I definitely will, and hopefully soon.

"undeserving of sympathy or mercy, worthy of being firebombed and starved, even though he had absolutely nothing to do with Hitler or the Nazis"

Well, according to many posters in the atomic bomb discussion, the children of Germany, and especially Japan, deserved worse.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013, 11:27:45 AM PST
frese says:
has anyone read the Memories of Pearl Harbor Day ?

Posted on Jan 11, 2013, 11:40:12 AM PST
frese says:
has anyone read the Memories of Pearl Harbor Day ?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 8:12:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013, 11:49:45 AM PST
DarthRad says:
The book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus is the best book ever about the pre-European state of American Indian culture. It really should be mandatory reading for all Americans, especially because it re-writes the usual misconceptions about European-Indian interactions.

The book makes the very specific point that American Indian culture, both North and South, was fairly advanced. Although they had not entered the Iron Age (the Central and South American Indians had sophisticated knowledge of smelting gold and silver, and some early bronze works), they had advanced agricultural communities and societies, and their basic weapons of bows and arrows and spears were more than a match for the early muskets and steel swords of the Europeans.

This can be seen in how early European settlements like Roanoke and Jamestown fared against the local Indian tribes. These small bands of Europeans did not stand much of a chance when faced against a strong local Indian culture.

It was only because of the epidemics of diseases which wiped out the Indian tribes that allowed the small numbers of European invaders to conquer the American Indians. This was especially true for Cortez's conquest of Mexico.

The real story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving is re-told in "1491" and is truly eye-opening. The Pilgrims were allowed to settle in peace by the local Indians only because the area had recently become depopulated by mass epidemics of disease brought by earlier contacts with Europeans and their animals. The stores of food that the Pilgrims discovered in abandoned Indian villages which helped them survive the first harsh winter had not been given to them as a gift from God/Providence, as they believed, but had been left behind when the Indian owners of those food stores perished en mass in the epidemics. The truth behind why Squanto helped the Pilgrims is also eye opening.

Another point that "1491" makes is that Europeans (especially the lower class indentured servants) often ran away from their own settlements to live with the Indians, preferring the looser, less restrictive style of Indian life to their own strict and rigid and moralistic European culture. This was to become the fundamental basis of the American way of life, as distinguished from the old rigid and hierarchical European way of life.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 10:28:47 AM PST
Mickey says:
This thread has gone off topic. But, speaking of Native Americans, may I suggest?: instead of seeing them as stupid savages or noble saints living in harmony, see them as complex human beings capable of cruelty and kindness, stupidity and wisdom, just like the rest of humanity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 3:16:47 PM PST
Hear hear.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 3:50:41 PM PST
patrick says:
fine by me

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 4:03:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013, 7:21:00 PM PST
You have my vote Mickey. Having worked doing medicine on a reservation I learned that they are very complex, very savage, very kind, very open minded, very closed minded etc. I suspect that had they not been so savage in their dealings they would not have been wiped out. I am a bit curious about the "epidemic" theory. How would you prove such a thing? Moreover, would not the reverse have also been true, the Europeans being wiped out by indigenous illnesses?

I think that, in North America, little about 1491 is verifiable or understood beyond the level of speculation. The key to civilization is writing and the written record. An indentured servant would not run away because he was seeking "the looser, less restrictive style of Indian life to their own strict and rigid and moralistic European culture." He ran away because he was a slave. Most people, when presented with an alternative ... take it.

"This was to become the fundamental basis of the American way of life, as distinguished from the old rigid and hierarchical European way of life" It became the "fundamental basis" because America was based on the idealized embodiment of the Magna Carta and grew into fruition in the Age of Reason based in natural law and the rights of man. The American Indian life had nothing to do with it.

And Mickey " just like the rest of humanity. " Absolutely. I think the real deal was that the Europeans came to look on them as sub-human for so practiced among the Indians. It only takes a few scalpings and torturing a few to death to reach that way of thinking. It is not a far step to extrapolate the behaviours of a few to a entire society. Add to that the endemic racism of the European and whola the basis of a destructive relationship.

But Mickey, you are absolutely correct. They are neither Darth's fiction of the Dances with Wolves fiction. They are somewhere in the middle ... just like everyone else.

Funny how far a WWII thread can drift.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 4:07:22 PM PST
patrick says:
Moreover, would not the reverse have also been true, the Europeans being wiped out by indigenous illnesses?

thats a curious point, actually..North america id have envisaged then as a very clean environment, not in many places having either the climate or population conditions which generated a lot of disease....but with the Spanish in Central and south america, one wonders if they werent almost as likely to be killed by Yellow fever or malaria, as locals were to smallpox..
maybe natural smallpox is a far better weapon even than those things..

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 4:18:01 PM PST
Mickey says:
Thank you. I too worked on a reservation and I too came to see them as complex human beings not cardboard stereotypes.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 7:44:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013, 6:48:51 AM PST
DarthRad says:

Read 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

That's all I have to say. It's not fiction or "Dances with Wolves". Although much about the topic remains controversial, there is just too much anthropological research and historical detail to ignore the implications discussed in the book. The great majority of what is in the book is accepted as the conventional current best interpretation of this new information by the anthropological research community.

You're just behind the times by about 40-50 years in terms of the historical and anthropological research studies of the American Indians.

So, you are not correct about lack of "proof". A lot of anthropological digging and research and the original accounts by the very first of early European explorers provide more than ample proof that the Americas were FILLED with large thriving populations of Indians. Which then dwindled down to vast empty lands filled only with trees, buffaloes, and passenger pigeons a few hundred years later.

Even the Amazon forests were filled with large tribes of Indians, as proven by vast amounts of pot shards deposited in the soil of the Amazon. These pot shards were discovered to be in the Amazon soil in such large quantities and so consistently that the only explanation for them is that the Indians of the Amazon put them there to improve the soil qualities, essentially cultivating the trees of the Amazon as a giant forestry.

There's too many tidbits from the book to cover in a simple Amazon thread, and I think you are being exceptionally closed-minded to simply reject all of this as being "Dances with Wolves" fantasy.

Read the book. Or, if you are too lazy to read the book read the wikipedia summary:

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 7:46:10 PM PST
F. Gleaves says:
The first written records of an outbreak of syphilis in Europe occurred in 1494/1495 in Naples, Italy, during a French invasion. The Italians originally called it 'The French Disease'.

It was particularly acute and virulent with a high mortality rate in its early days, strongly supporting the hypothesis that it was intoduced by Christopher Columbus' sailors on their return to Europe. Within 50 years it had moderated to the milder, chronic form that it would have for the next five centuries.

The alternate 'pre-Columbian' theory, that it had existed previously in Europe but somehow gone unnoticed, is unlikely due to the shocking symptoms and virulence of the orginal strain. It mutated relatively quickly because those infected with the most virulent forms soon couldn't find anyone who'd get near them.

Europeans were familiar with malaria, although they linked it to the "miasmic" air of swamps and marshes rather than mosquitoes - mal'aria literally means "bad air" in Italian.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 7:47:29 PM PST
DarthRad says:
As for diseases spread in the other direction, syphilis was probably the main disease that came from the Americas and spread to Europe. This is also discussed in the book.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 8:09:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013, 8:44:07 PM PST
DarthRad says:
Malaria came from Africa. That's why sickle cell disease developed in Africans and stayed in the population - those with the "trait" (heterozygous, one good gene, one sickle gene) have a natural immunity to malaria and so the sickle gene confers a survival advantage to people living in malaria zones. The same is true for the thalassemia anemias, which also confer a resistance to malaria, and occur in Mediterranean peoples.

Charles Mann wrote another book: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

In this book, he talks about the Columbian Exchange, the trade of peoples, goods, and diseases that occurred with the arrival of Europeans in the Americas.

He makes a fascinating argument that the slave trade in Africans in the Deep South developed mainly because of malaria, which the Africans were naturally resistant to. The slave trade in black Africans in the North never took hold because malaria did not occur there (too cold) and so the North was able to stay with the traditional system of indentured servants from Europe which was actually cheaper and more efficient than slavery, and had worked well for European culture for centuries. European indentured servants simply were too easily felled by malaria to work in the Deep South and so over time, the Deep South evolved, moving away from the traditional European system of indentured servants to malaria-resistant African slaves.

Mann also talks about how the humble potato, which originated in Peru, revolutionized food production in Europe and Asia, and allowed for large increases in population in those countries in the centuries after Columbus discovered the Americas.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 8:58:56 PM PST
F. Gleaves says:
Sounds like one of those "Which was first: the Chicken or the Egg?" things.

'Europeans and West Africans introduced malaria in the New World at the end of 15th century AD. P. vivax and P. malariae were possibly brought to the New World from South-East Asia by early trans-Pacific voyages. P. falciparum probably reached the Americas through the African slaves brought by the Spanish colonisers of Central America. At first the Caribbean and parts of Central and South America were affected and from the mid-18th century, it spread across the North American continent. Over the next 100 years, malaria spread across the United States of America and Canada and by around 1850 A.D., it prevailed through the length and breadth of the two American continents. At this time, malaria was common in Italy, Greece, London, Versailles, Paris, Washington D.C., and even New York City.

'Thus by 19th century, malaria reached its global limits with over one-half of the world's population at significant risk and 1 in 10 affected expected to die from it. From the time of the voyages of Columbus until the mid-19th century, European trade and colonization in the tropics were marked by enormous losses of life from malaria. On the coasts of West Africa, mortality rates often exceeding 50% of a company per year of contact were the norm.'

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 9:03:19 PM PST
DarthRad says:
As far as the Americas being filled with thriving tribes of Indians, it is important to remember that modern human beings settled in the Americas at about the same time as the British Isles and most of Northern Europe, about 10,000 years ago.

It was only with the end of the last Ice Age and the retreat of the glaciers that the British Isles and Northern Europe became habitable again, and 10,000 years later those lands were filled with teeming masses of people.

The Americas offered foods that were far more nutritious, agriculturally efficient, and bountiful than what was available to the pre-Columbian Europeans - the potato, sweet potato and maize especially - and so supported a much more rapid expansion of population than what happened in Europe.

In fact, until the introduction of the more agriculturally efficient and nutritious foods from the Americas, European populations had started to experience periodic cycles of Malthusian levels of famine and disease which prevented further increases in population.

Mann makes these key points between the two books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 9:05:30 PM PST
F. Gleaves says:
And then came the Irish Potato Famine..

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013, 9:09:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013, 9:22:13 PM PST
What could ordinary American citizens do to voice their opposition to the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, besides voice their opinions? At least we have, and closely guard, the freedom to do so; Hitler and Stalin would have arrested and removed all traces of your known earthly existence! Of course, "treason" is dealt with differently. Activate shameless plug and link to e-book here-Two American Voices of Nazi Propaganda

Posted on Jan 13, 2013, 7:00:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013, 7:07:06 AM PST
DarthRad says:
The Irish Potato Famine was about more than just an infestation of potatoes with the blight fungus. It was about a long history of a horribly brutal British repression of the Irish people and utter indifference to their suffering when the potato blight struck.

That the Irish came to become dependent on the potato in the first place as their only source of food was a result of the British pushing Irish peasants off the agriculturally more fertile lands to raise cattle and other crops for themselves.

All you need to know about what the British did to the Irish is encapsulated by one single fact - throughout the potato famine, Ireland continued to be a NET EXPORTER of food. The British chose to let the Irish people starve.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013, 8:33:15 AM PST
F. Gleaves says:
'The British chose to let the Irish people starve.'

If you recall your Charles Dickens, the British let a lot of British starve as well.

But your point is a good one, and very relevent to this thread.

The problem was concentration of a great deal of land in the hands of aristocrats, many of whom were only interested in their estates as a source of income to maintain them in luxury in London.

The growth of the woolen industry in England had led to driving many tenant farmers off their land, even the enclosure of the town commons so that the wealthy could raise more sheep for their wool.

Likewise the growing of grain for market was a major source of income for the estates, and Irish tenants had little opportunity to grow anything more than potatoes.

Ireland's dilemma stemmed from the expansion by William the Conqueror's heirs into Wales and Ireland, and the Irish and Scottish support for the Royal Stuarts against the British Parliament and Hanoverian Kings. That led to their treatment as a defeated but still traitorous rabble.

By the 18th century even many Ulstermen could see that the British Parliament's policy was to exploit all Ireland as a colony like America and the Caribbean. Many saw a chance for better wages in America or a farm on the frontier, if they could just save the money and provisions needed for the voyage.

So many Irish and Scots-Irish wound up driving the Indians off their land, just as British policies had driven them from their own homeland.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013, 9:02:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013, 9:04:41 AM PST
DarthRad says:
Yes, and that's also why indentured servants were so readily and cheaply available for the Americas.

Large numbers of the poor of Europe who wanted a better life could not afford the trip, and so would sign up to be an indentured servant for a period of time and thus earn their passage to freedom in the New World. On the whole, except for the problem of malaria, indentured servants were far better workers than African slaves - they were far more motivated, worked more efficiently, usually shared a common language, and were much less likely to run away or murder their masters.

Which is why malaria resistance is such a terrific explanation for how African slavery, not originally a common aspect of European culture, came to supplant the system of indentured servants amongst the European settlers in the Deep South of America.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013, 8:35:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013, 8:45:56 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013, 8:43:34 AM PST

Malaria is generally thought to have been brought to North America in the 1800's and is not really a big deal in the Algonquin tribal areas in any "mass die off".
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