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Subject: 100th year anniversary of Germany's declaration of war against France, rss

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Hunga Dunga
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"The history between France and Germany proves that good will can triumph over fatality, and that the people who considered themselves as hereditary enemies, can over a few years, reconcile their differences" Mr Hollande said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28628335
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Michael Sommers
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Wow. That certainly takes one back. The Herald.
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Michael
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It's also 4 years since I broke up with my French ex
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Alexander Künzle
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How many lives did it cost ?
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Empires crumbled!

ot: I will have to get Fleet Action Imminent and the old 1/3000s out to have
some SMS Goeben action
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Tim P.
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On the 4th of August, the British declare war on Germany.

Max Hastings BBC documentary on why the British had to get involved in the Great War.

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Robert Wesley
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Re: 100th year anniversary of Germany's declaration of war against France & Eventual Surrender,
Yet 'elsewheres'... "Swiss will FIGHT for Neutrality"? How'd THAT "go"? whistle
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John Robinson
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derblaueClaus wrote:
How many lives did it cost ?


Too many.
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Tom Shydler
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So Good-bye to All That ....
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oi_you_nutter wrote:
On the 4th of August, the British declare war on Germany.

Max Hastings BBC documentary on why the British had to get involved in the Great War.



This documentary is excellent. So true.
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verdunjp wrote:
oi_you_nutter wrote:
On the 4th of August, the British declare war on Germany.

Max Hastings BBC documentary on why the British had to get involved in the Great War.



This documentary is excellent. So true.


I am quite disappointed by this video. So the war was necessary because Germany were brutal imperialists?! Like the British were not brutal imperialists or what?
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Hegel wrote:
verdunjp wrote:
oi_you_nutter wrote:
On the 4th of August, the British declare war on Germany.

Max Hastings BBC documentary on why the British had to get involved in the Great War.



This documentary is excellent. So true.


I am quite disappointed by this video. So the war was necessary because Germany were brutal imperialists?! Like the British were not brutal imperialists or what?


Yes, the British (government) were brutal Imperialists, so were many others. The difference was who was the aggressor and who was reacting to the aggression. It was a calculated decision, by the British government, to go to war when they could have stayed out.

What still amazes me is how eager the peoples of Europe were to go to war when it could, and should, have been avoided.
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oi_you_nutter wrote:
The difference was who was the aggressor and who was reacting to the aggression.

It isn't always clear who the aggressor is. For example, is it the country that fired the first shot, or is it the country that blockades another country and strangles their economy?
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Hegel wrote:
verdunjp wrote:
oi_you_nutter wrote:
On the 4th of August, the British declare war on Germany.

Max Hastings BBC documentary on why the British had to get involved in the Great War.



This documentary is excellent. So true.


I am quite disappointed by this video. So the war was necessary because Germany were brutal imperialists?! Like the British were not brutal imperialists or what?


GB didn't want to dominate Europe, respected international law, was not directed by the military and didn't want a war at any cost. Germany did.
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Michael Sommers
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verdunjp wrote:
Hegel wrote:
I am quite disappointed by this video. So the war was necessary because Germany were brutal imperialists?! Like the British were not brutal imperialists or what?

GB didn't want to dominate Europe, ...

Or they recognized that they didn't have the power to dominate Europe.

Quote:
... respected international law, ...

When it suited them.
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I think Hasting's arguments are very much in the "old school". It was a necessary war, but only if you believe it was necessary for the UK to remain the top dog.

Jeremy Paxman did a very similar argument recently and seemed to only entertain the idea that if anybody other than Britain had an Empire the world would fall to rack and ruin.

I think Niall Ferguson's rebuttal of Hasting's view in "The Pity of War" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pity-War-Niall-Ferguson/dp/014027523...) dispels many of the myths of a "necessary" war.

Sadly we will never be able to change what happened 100 years ago.
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Hungadunga wrote:
oi_you_nutter wrote:
The difference was who was the aggressor and who was reacting to the aggression.

It isn't always clear who the aggressor is. For example, is it the country that fired the first shot, or is it the country that blockades another country and strangles their economy?


Are you talking about USA vs Japan?
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Edward Sexby
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The war was an obscene slaughter, not justifiable in any way, shape or form. it was about rival Imperial blocs slugging it out for dominance over the world, and their respective populations paid the price. It also stopped/delayed serious domestic unrest in most of the major powers or in their empires (e.g. the situation in Ireland). The conflict had been brewing since 1871 and all major powers were engaged in rearmament, the British and Germans in a naval arms race, for example. If the conflict hadn't started over Serbia in the summer of 1914 then it would have triggered over something else, and any or either of the sides could have fired the first shot.

So, it's not about German "guilt", or Britain fighting for freedom/democracy/the rule of law. What a sick joke. As hinted by some posts above, Britain routinely ignored legal and humanitarian concerns in governing and expanding it's empire - the crushing of the Indian Mutiny being a good example. Or how about the invasion/annexation of Zululand, the Transvaal or the Orange Free State?

Also, take a look at the extent of the franchise in Britain in 1914. Large swathes of the population fell beneath the property qualification and hence had no voting rights; and, of course, women were totally excluded. In fact, Imperial Germany had a wider franchise at the time. And who was one of Britain's principle allies? Er, Tsarist Russia...

So, peace, love and solidarity, folks. Lets keep our conflicts confined to the gaming table.
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Fortunately, 100 years later only one thing can throw the entire German people into a nationalist frenzy: Winning the World Cup!
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I stopped watching once he started accusing the Germans of being nasty imperialists.

History is always going to be interpretative, it's one of the things that I enjoy so much about studying it, but when it's presented it an overtly subjective manner I lose interest.
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Alan Sutton
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Edward Sexby wrote:
....It also stopped/delayed serious domestic unrest in most of the major powers or in their empires.....


That is totally wrong. The war hastened serious change in nearly all the belligerents home territories.

It destroyed 3 empires.

In Britain it certainly contributed to the end of the old unrepresentative order and ushered in modern democracy. The general strike happened after the war, not before it.

Politicians may think war can be a distraction from other problems but it usually helps some other evil genie out of the bottle. War is a destabilising force and undermines civilisations, not the other way round.

Especially this one. WWI was the big one as far as recent history goes.



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Rob Arcangeli
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As a side note, one of the many plans the British army had in place for the continental war, was to strike the Germans on the flank if they had attacked France directly...meaning having to cross through "neutral" Belgium...
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Andrew J
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Arcangeli wrote:
I think Hasting's arguments are very much in the "old school". It was a necessary war, but only if you believe it was necessary for the UK to remain the top dog.

Jeremy Paxman did a very similar argument recently and seemed to only entertain the idea that if anybody other than Britain had an Empire the world would fall to rack and ruin.

I think Niall Ferguson's rebuttal of Hasting's view in "The Pity of War" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pity-War-Niall-Ferguson/dp/014027523...) dispels many of the myths of a "necessary" war.

Sadly we will never be able to change what happened 100 years ago.


The Hastings and Ferguson interpretations are both somewhat extreme and I'm not sure I'd like to side with either of them. Ferguson's is certainly a provocative viewpoint, as it usually is - here are some excerpts from the blurb for his BBC programme:

"In this innovative programme, Harvard historian Professor Niall Ferguson offers a different perspective on the First World War and argues that Britain's decision to enter the war was a tragic mistake.
...
He then argues that much of the responsibility for the scale of the conflict lies with the British and suggests that Britain's decision to enter the war in 1914 was not merely tragic for those who lost their lives, it was also a catastrophic error that unleashed an era of totalitarianism and genocide around the world."


So, here's the question. If the right thing (from our modern perspective) for Britain to do was to stay out of the war, what would have happened in the rest of Europe in the short and long term? Would everything have been hunky dory?
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myrmex wrote:
Arcangeli wrote:
I think Hasting's arguments are very much in the "old school". It was a necessary war, but only if you believe it was necessary for the UK to remain the top dog.

Jeremy Paxman did a very similar argument recently and seemed to only entertain the idea that if anybody other than Britain had an Empire the world would fall to rack and ruin.

I think Niall Ferguson's rebuttal of Hasting's view in "The Pity of War" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pity-War-Niall-Ferguson/dp/014027523...) dispels many of the myths of a "necessary" war.

Sadly we will never be able to change what happened 100 years ago.


The Hastings and Ferguson interpretations are both somewhat extreme and I'm not sure I'd like to side with either of them. Ferguson's is certainly a provocative viewpoint, as it usually is - here are some excerpts from the blurb for his BBC programme:

"In this innovative programme, Harvard historian Professor Niall Ferguson offers a different perspective on the First World War and argues that Britain's decision to enter the war was a tragic mistake.
...
He then argues that much of the responsibility for the scale of the conflict lies with the British and suggests that Britain's decision to enter the war in 1914 was not merely tragic for those who lost their lives, it was also a catastrophic error that unleashed an era of totalitarianism and genocide around the world."


So, here's the question. If the right thing (from our modern perspective) for Britain to do was to stay out of the war, what would have happened in the rest of Europe in the short and long term? Would everything have been hunky dory?


I agree that Ferguson is an extreme, a good balance to Hastings in my eye! Hopefully the pendulum will settle in the middle.

For your question I suppose it depends on what Germany (and other power's) war aims where. Did they intend to conquer France as in 1940 or simply to defeat them in the field, capture Paris and then demand a peace ala 1871?

In either case it is almost impossible to imagine the rest of Europe's approach to this. If France was knocked out, would the Germans become a major power in the East and the chaos that was to come there?

Really if Britain had stayed out we probably would have ended up with a Europe powered by German economic policy and German dominance in Football. Oh.
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myrmex wrote:
...

So, here's the question. If the right thing (from our modern perspective) for Britain to do was to stay out of the war, ...


IMO (far from my speciality), that would never be possible as Britain would never risk Germany taking the pick of France's colonies. Britain would at the very least want a share of the action to ensure they could get some new territories. It was all a power grab, as wars usually are.
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