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What tends to be poorly appreciated is just how fragile the United States' commitment to foreign wars was.

 

That's pretty well appreciated, for 'elective' wars which even with Mexican Telegrams and unrestricted submarine warfare WW1 was for the US. WW2 though wasn't, doesn't matter how isolationist your population is if you're actively attacked by Japan and have Germany declare war on you; that's the one thing that will usually get all isolationists on board for a war since isolationist doesn't mean pacifist.

 

Might be interesting to consider whether Japan would have fought on if the Vietnam War had been before WW2 so there was a record of forcing the US out of a conflict via morale/ will failure already, but that's a hypothetical much like how many casualties the US actually would have suffered in a land invasion of Japan.

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What tends to be poorly appreciated is just how fragile the United States' commitment to foreign wars was.

 

That's pretty well appreciated, for 'elective' wars which even with Mexican Telegrams and unrestricted submarine warfare WW1 was for the US. WW2 though wasn't, doesn't matter how isolationist your population is if you're actively attacked by Japan and have Germany declare war on you; that's the one thing that will usually get all isolationists on board for a war since isolationist doesn't mean pacifist.

 

 

 

I suppose it just goes to show just how poorly appreciated it is. In part why those not in the loop with the Manhattan Project balked at simply continuing the conventional firebombing campaign of Japan and blockading her into submission was because absolutely nobody could give an exact time when Japan would accept the Allied terms of surrender (remember that Leningrad was besieged for two and a half years), and there was concern that the cost of the blockade and simply having the five million strong invasion force indefinitely mobilised would wear down on public support for the campaign. Even in Western Europe Hitler's Hail Mary play to save the Third Reich was based on the the Ardennes Offensive inflicting horrendous enough casualties on US forces and, failing that, succeeding where the Germans had failed at Dunkirk encircling British forces and potentially bargaining for an armistice with the Western Allies, then swinging those forces over to the East to stabilise the Soviet Front (the chances of success were uncertain of course, but it was pretty much this or Hitler curling into a ball and sucking on his thumb in his bunker).

Edited by Agiel
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"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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"Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them."

 

-James Fallows

 

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This is what Maddox wrote, quoting Asada:

 

 
 
not only low-energy, but deliberate misleading, eh? 
 
not maddox quote of asada.  maddox were editor of the volume from which you selective lift quotes.  not maddox quote.
 
from the asada article you quote, 
 
"The emperor, who had already concluded in June 1945 that the war must end soon, was from this time forward Japan's foremost peace advocate, increasingly articulate and urgent in expressing his wish for peace"
 
but immediate following is:
 
"the first to take concrete action to terminate the war was foreign minister togo, a dour-faced, outspoken and resolute man. on the morning of august 8, with suzuki's approval, togo took it upon himself to visit the imperial palace and make a direct appeal to the emperor in his underground air raid shelter..." 
 
so 'ccording to asada, the first to do something tangible were togo, two days after the a-bomb drop on hiroshima. you convenient left out the immediate subsequent material, and false attributed as a maddox quote?  naughty. 
 
*chuckle* 
 
your second quote is again from an essay by asada and the specific heading under which it appears is, The Vacillating Emperor. section covers how unreliable were the emperor as the main proponent o' the peace faction.
 
third quote don't help you at all.  not certain what you think you are reading. would japanese have surrendered, eventual, w/o use o' the bomb?  sure doesn't suggest the japanese were serious considering surrender pre august 6,1945... seeing as how asada specific argues against such in the articles you link.  oh, and 'course you left out relevant pages o' the conclusion, including:
 
"this essay suggests, given the intransigence of the japanese military, there were few missed opportunities for earlier peace and the alternatives available to president truman in the summer of 1945 were limited, fewer than we may imagine today. in the end, japan needed "external pressure" in the form of the atomic bombs for its government and military to decide to surrender."  
 
however, asada does conclude that the moral question o' whether it were just to drop the bombs is another issue entire, but not the subject of his essay.
 
as for actual maddox quotes...
 
 
particular relevant given your efforts to obfuscate,
 
"the essays in the present volume reveal that hiroshima-revisionists have constructed a ramshackle structure founded on sand. if the historical record supports their theses, one must ask, why are the compelled to resort to dubious procedures such as scissoring documents to change their meaning, or relying on discredited sources such as the USSBS."
 
indeed resort to such dishonest means serious undercuts the message.
 
and yeah, resorting to strawman didn't help you either.  giangreco, maddox and others weren't requiring insanity to explain japanese willingness to win through body count.  trying to imagine into being some kinda moral transitive property and then attributing to giangreco and Gromnir doesn't help your argument. giangreco is the guy featured in agiel's video at ~50sec.  the calculus for an American invasion o' kyushu had the japanese considering the possibility o' 20 million casualties (not dead).  horrific, but not insane from the japanese pov.  1/4 of population o' main islands as casualties were considered acceptable up until at least august 8, 1945.  atomic bombs and soviet declarations o' war changed the maths.  point out eventual surrender doesn't change anything regarding japanese willingness to engage in "maximum bloodletting" to generate favorable terms o' eventual surrender.  horrific, but not insane.
 
 
the japanese preparations, continuing up until surrender, were beyond what were anticipated when the US crafted casualty estimates.  casualty totals were likely underestimated given how extensive were the japanese plans for maximum bloodletting. explain the extreme defensive efforts if japanese were already planning to surrender months in advance o' bombs being dropped is requiring a whole different kinda willful insanity... or more likely, preternatural obtuseness from holdout revisionists. 
 
anyways, am thinking the genesis poster should have at least a point from which to start exploration o' the issues.  would suggest focusing searches 'pon "atomic diplomacy" as such were the term used to describe the perceived motivation for truman to drop bombs as a warning to the soviets.  "atomic diplomacy" has fallen on hard times given the revelation from Presidential missives which show truman were actual relieved the soviets declared war 'pon japan, but is more than a few scholars who advocate the notion the bombs were dropped as kinda the opening shots o' the cold war. 
 
HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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not maddox quote of asada.  maddox were editor of the volume from which you selective lift quotes.  not maddox quote.

Whoop-de-do! It's not Maddox quoting Asada, it's Maddox including a whole Asada article into a compendium he's the editor of. But not a quote. I'm sure someone, somewhere understands that this is a crucial difference, that completely "demolishes" some position or other. For everyone else, it's just you splitting hairs and chuckling and snorting at nothing.

 

 

 

so 'ccording to asada, the first to do something tangible were togo, two days after the a-bomb drop on hiroshima.

Good job at ignoring everything else. That Togo went to see the emperor after the nukes were dropped does not in any way mean that the peace party was "negligible".

 

The fact was that the Japanese government was not really unified in its will to continue fighting till the bitter end. Again, Asada:

 

"What the deciphered Japanese dispatches reveal, however, were indecision and contradiction in Tokyo; the Japanese government could never agree on surrender terms. The cable messages went round and round: Togo, under pressure from the military, repeated that Japan could never accept an unconditional surrender, while the more realistic Sato entreated for "specific" mediation terms and "a concrete plan for terminating the war.""

 

He goes on to say that the whole thing was ultimately a waste of time, but it does show that there was a faction in the government that were in fact open to ending the war as soon as possible, and that after Okinawa, the emperor himself shared that view. But to understand that, you'd have to read the whole thing and not just jump to the conclusions, in the hope that the author summarized the whole thing in two or three short sentences that you could paste.

 

 

 

you convenient left out the immediate subsequent material, and false attributed as a maddox quote?  naughty.

I didn't "leave anything out". I pasted the passages I thought were relevant, noted where I had omitted something, and left out the parts that didn't add much, as per above.

 

For comparison, I went to the book and pasted a link. You? You googled a collection of selected quotations (yes, quotations, not entire articles), randomly pasted a few, and didn't even bother giving a source. Naughty? Get the **** outta here with that weak ****.

 

 

 

your second quote is again from an essay by asada and the specific heading under which it appears is, The Vacillating Emperor. section covers how unreliable were the emperor as the main proponent o' the peace faction.

So you are making a point about the whole article based on... the title? And you cry when I point out your low-effort posting?

 

Yes, the section is aptly titled, because it narrates the emperor's behavior from as early as 1943. It's made clear that he resolved to end the war ASAP after Okinawa. So from that point on, he was no longer "vacillating" even if he had been for most of the war. He was so very much not vacillating after that, that he surrendered in spite of the opposition of the Army and Navy leaders. And you have the nerve of calling obfuscation?

 

 

 

third quote don't help you at all.  not certain what you think you are reading. would japanese have surrendered, eventual, w/o use o' the bomb?  sure doesn't suggest the japanese were serious considering surrender pre august 6,1945... seeing as how asada specific argues against such in the articles you link.

What I'm reading is that despite what you and Giangreco say, there is no evidence in the Japanese record that proves that Japan would not have surrendered without the nukes, therefore promoting Shockley's figures from prediction to certainty. What the ever loving **** are you reading from that?

 

 

 

as for actual maddox quotes...

More low-effort Googling? This time not even from a book, but from a magazine article with no citations. Weren't you asking Zoraptor to provide sources? The only ones you've presented yourself so far are:

 

a lazy compendium of selected quotes (which you didn't even refer)

youtube videos

opinion pieces from FP and some university magazine (the latter not even making any specific argument, just "demolishing" critics)

 

much sources, so rigour, wow

 

 

 

and yeah, resorting to strawman didn't help you either.  giangreco, maddox and others weren't requiring insanity to explain japanese willingness to win through body count.  trying to imagine into being some kinda moral transitive property and then attributing to giangreco and Gromnir doesn't help your argument. giangreco is the guy featured in agiel's video at ~50sec.  the calculus for an American invasion o' kyushu had the japanese considering the possibility o' 20 million casualties (not dead).  horrific, but not insane from the japanese pov.  1/4 of population o' main islands as casualties were considered acceptable up until at least august 8, 1945.  atomic bombs and soviet declarations o' war changed the maths.  point out eventual surrender doesn't change anything regarding japanese willingness to engage in "maximum bloodletting" to generate favorable terms o' eventual surrender.  horrific, but not insane.

What are you even talking about? I didn't say massive casualties weren't acceptable to them. I said a battle plan that calls taking casualties amounting to 25% of your population and 100% of your forces a "victory" is insane, because even that would not have prevented a total military defeat and they knew it. Even then, the only way of reaching that point would have been, indeed, "no surrendering ever", which is unlikely considering that the government wasn't all for doing that and emperor did in fact impose a surrender way before it came to that.

 

However, a bluff is the more reasonable assumption considering that Japanese war leaders were afraid of being tried for war crimes like their German counterparts first, and the risk of communist uprisings second. The former was an inevitability if they didn't kill themselves first (hence the condition that their eventual punishment be handled by the Japanese government), and the latter would only increase over time with the decrease in living conditions and the government's disregard for the death toll.

 

The fear of a revolution of one kind or another was also one of the factors in the deadlock of the Japanese government at the time. From Fumimaro Konoye in February 1945:

 

"The greatest obstacle to ending the war is the existence of the military group which has been "propelling" the country into the present state ever since the Manchurian Incident--the group which, having already lost all hope of successfully concluding the war, nevertheless insists on its continuation in order to save face. If we try to stop the war abruptly, these military extremists together with both the right and left wings, might attempt anything--even a bloody internal revolt, and thereby nullify our efforts. The prerequisite to the conclusion of the war, therefore, is to wipe out the influence of these dangerous people and reform the Army and Navy. I must urge Your Majesty to make a serious decision to that end." 

 

As I said, Giangreco stops short of saying that the proposed Japanese strategy of grinding down the invader in a long battle of attrition could result in the US being forced to negotiate, because he knows that won't fly. Painting the Japanese military leaders as complete psychotics though, even if indirectly, sure, why not.

 

So yeah, whenever you speak of strawmanning, it is safe to assume that you are actually referring to your own tactics.

 

 

the japanese preparations, continuing up until surrender, were beyond what were anticipated when the US crafted casualty estimates.  casualty totals were likely underestimated given how extensive were the japanese plans for maximum bloodletting. explain the extreme defensive efforts if japanese were already planning to surrender months in advance o' bombs being dropped is requiring a whole different kinda willful insanity... or more likely, preternatural obtuseness from holdout revisionists.

Yes, because massive preparations have to be made for surrender, right? And the army specializes in surrender tactics and drills, which hold a place of honor in the curricula of all military colleges worth their salt. Surrender is a political decision, as opposed to a military one. Not to mention that it has already been established that the top Army leaders who were coincidentally in charge of said preparations, were very much not in favor of surrendering under the Potsdam terms. Nevertheless, they were overruled. So their extensive preparations did not, in any way shape or form, preclude surrender.

Edited by 213374U

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A History Thread Zero and no mention of Pol Pot? I am disappointed.

“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.” ― Mikhail Bakunin

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so, to show us we didn't understand the material we were referencing (Maddox, Giangreco, Hasegawa and others) you quote Maddox... but it weren't actual Maddox you were quoting.  we never used Asada as a source save that he showed up tangential in a kort quote-- while disagreeing with much o' hasegawa,  Asada had common ground 'bout failures o' revisionism.  use Asada disingenuous to refute our understanding o' Maddox?  okie dokie.  worse, you selective quote Asada, and scissor quotes, to try and make it seem as if the Japanese were serious 'bout peace efforts much earlier than august 1945, when in point o' fact Asada were unequivocal refuting such a position.  again,

 

"this essay suggests, given the intransigence of the japanese military, there were few missed opportunities for earlier peace and the alternatives available to president truman in the summer of 1945 were limited, fewer than we may imagine today. in the end, japan needed "external pressure" in the form of the atomic bombs for its government and military to decide to surrender."  

 

the Asada article you is quoting utter rejects your proposition and yet Gromnir doesn't understand the material... material which we never offered as supporting. 

 

 

you are a serious piece o' work. lord only knows why you persist. 

 

then again, so too does Gromnir persist.  following every massacre, somebody had to stay behind.

 

 

for kp

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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On a lighter note some interesting tales from aviation history. The first the saga of No Kum-Sok (AKA Kenneth Roe) and Operation Moolah (recounted in much greater detail in the excellent book "The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot" by Blaine Harden)

 

 

And a Soviet flyer who performed the same feat in a MiG-29 in the closing days of the Cold War:

 

Quote
"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

Quote
"Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them."

 

-James Fallows

 

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stuff

 

Quotes are selective by definition, unless you want me to paste the whole article. Which not even you have done, and which also makes you guilty of "selective quoting". The difference is that I provide the links to whatever I'm quoting, and quote directly from the source as opposed to lazy mishmashes of selective quoting by someone else. That you assume bad faith when others do something you routinely engage in makes you a hypocrite. Nothing new here, at least.

 

I don't need to prove that the Japanese were "serious" about peace previous to August 1945, because that was never the contention, only that

 

1) the nukes weren't necessary to force Japan into surrender, an opinion which is substantiated by several of the US most decorated war leaders, the USSBS, and Asada's analysis of the emperor's shifting views in the later stages of the war

 

and

 

2) that the government faction pushing for peace wasn't "negligible" in 1945, which again Asada's quotes illustrate

 

I don't necessarily disagree with his position that Japan needed external pressure to finally surrender, but I do reject your reading that he's saying that the pressure could only come from the atomic bombings. It is on the record that many members of the government (Konoye, Higashikumi, Suzuki, Nagano, etc.) believed that after Saipan, it was basically game over because the B-29s would bomb Japan back to the stone age, as LeMay later boasted, and there was nothing they could do about it. The complete collapse of their imperial ambitions in the mainland would have applied plenty of pressure as well.

 

I'm not sure what you mean about being "serious" either (though I'm sure you'll shift the goalposts as needed later). Short of broadcasting capitulation over radio, it seems that the emperor was pretty serious when he demanded that measures be taken to end the war ASAP. And even then there's the whole MacArthur memo thing that at least according to him -and it was never officially denied- suggests the Japanese were offering surrender terms essentially identical to what the final thing ended up as, at least as early as January 1945. But we'll just assume MacArthur made the whole thing up in bad faith as well, right?

 

because you dig HNN links so much

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A History Thread Zero and no mention of Pol Pot? I am disappointed.

Just waiting to get a word in about the atrocities of Richard Lionheart and maybe the French victories in the 100 years war :lol:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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What do you guys think of the revision of history regarding the start of WW1 that has been happening during the resent years? Do you believe that Serbia was the aggressor and that Franz Ferdinand was a benevolent monarch who would have brought peace and prosperity to the region? Sandwich theory?

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What do you guys think of the revision of history regarding the start of WW1 that has been happening during the resent years? Do you believe that Serbia was the aggressor and that Franz Ferdinand was a benevolent monarch who would have brought peace and prosperity to the region? Sandwich theory?

To blame WW1 on Serbia or Gavrilo Princip rather than the result of factors such as imperialism and the alliances required by such is a mistake. If Ferdinand had not been assassinated we would have seen WW1 come soom anyways sparked from another event in the tumultuous early 20th century, laying the blame on a singular individual or a country is shallow analysis at best.

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What do you guys think of the revision of history regarding the start of WW1 that has been happening during the resent years? Do you believe that Serbia was the aggressor and that Franz Ferdinand was a benevolent monarch who would have brought peace and prosperity to the region? Sandwich theory?

 

Are you referring to any work in particular? Is this a thing in Serbia? I'm not sure that the view of Serbia as an "aggressor" (though they weren't exactly blameless) is mainstream.

 

Personally, I think that even more significant than Franz Ferdinand's assassination was Bismarck's dismissal ~25 years prior, and Germany's subsequent turn to a more overt imperialist policy, which inevitably steered it toward frontal conflict with other imperialist pigs of the day. Funny, Bismarck's fall came about as a result of left-wing gains and agitation at home and disagreements on how to deal with them... so yeah. Same old.

 

Disclaimer: extreme reductionism

 

edit: "sandwich theory" seems to deal with an engineering principle with a metric ****ton of math. If we could keep this thread free from differential equations, that would be great

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What do you guys think of the revision of history regarding the start of WW1 that has been happening during the resent years? Do you believe that Serbia was the aggressor and that Franz Ferdinand was a benevolent monarch who would have brought peace and prosperity to the region? Sandwich theory?

 

That is a thing ?

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Richard must be the most inexplicably well regarded king in English history. A compulsive warmonger who nearly bankrupted the country having fought multiple rebellions against his father previous and who got himself pointlessly and stupidly killed.

Yes, but his name was awesome.

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He's the Zapp Brannigan of English history.

Wouldn't that be Douglas Haig?

 

Wait, forgot he was a Scot.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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That is a thing ?

 

Pretty much, at least what I can gather from modern medias take on it. It's a change of narrative, for example how western history and documentaries focus on the western front and trivialize the eastern one, or at least fail to mention it. You get the impression that the west broke the Nazis back and not that they were scrambling to stop the Soviets from taking most of Europe. Same with WW1, nowadays it would seem like everything could have been talked out if only there was no assassination. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the history books are being rewritten, but the modern media is spinning the truth on it's head. This is my impression at least.

 

Are you referring to any work in particular? Is this a thing in Serbia? I'm not sure that the view of Serbia as an "aggressor" (though they weren't exactly blameless) is mainstream.

 

Personally, I think that even more significant than Franz Ferdinand's assassination was Bismarck's dismissal ~25 years prior, and Germany's subsequent turn to a more overt imperialist policy, which inevitably steered it toward frontal conflict with other imperialist pigs of the day. Funny, Bismarck's fall came about as a result of left-wing gains and agitation at home and disagreements on how to deal with them... so yeah. Same old.

 

Disclaimer: extreme reductionism

 

edit: "sandwich theory" seems to deal with an engineering principle with a metric ****ton of math. If we could keep this thread free from differential equations, that would be great

 

As I said above I think it's more the modern media, no work in particular. There is a movement to shift the public opinion, at least that is the impression that I have been getting from watching/reading things.

 

Wrong theory. :) I should have expanded on it. I was talking about the narrative that the assassins were incompetent idiots who got lucky, ie. Gavrilo Princip eating a sandwich and seeing Franz by sheer luck. Also Fraz's last words to his wife and a bunch of other things. The whole story trivializes one side and glorifies the other.

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Guess I will have to look around more, on the face of it one would think Serbia would have to be run by unstable people to be the agressor against A-H or at least I would think so.   You're right about Eastern Front not being focused on even though it is more interesting as the Wikipedia article states - 

 

 

 

The battles on the Eastern Front of the Second World War constituted the largest military confrontation in history.[6] They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres.

 

Oh great, just remembered Nov 11 is soon...going to be more crowing about Vimy in Canada

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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It's a change of narrative, for example how western history and documentaries focus on the western front and trivialize the eastern one, or at least fail to mention it.

 

Dunno how much of it is 'deliberate' as a policy so much as a documentary on Patton single handed reconquering Europe selling better in the US. People love to be told they're uniquely heroic and special, nuanced takes about how the godless commies did the bulk of the heavy listing isn't such an inspiring tale.

 

Most serious docos handle the eastern front fine, but the dissonance between something like 'Soviet Storm' or 'World at War' and some of the puff piece History Channel type WW2 documentaries could scarcely be greater.

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As I said above I think it's more the modern media, no work in particular. There is a movement to shift the public opinion, at least that is the impression that I have been getting from watching/reading things.

 

Wrong theory. :) I should have expanded on it. I was talking about the narrative that the assassins were incompetent idiots who got lucky, ie. Gavrilo Princip eating a sandwich and seeing Franz by sheer luck. Also Fraz's last words to his wife and a bunch of other things. The whole story trivializes one side and glorifies the other.

Can't say I've read anything to that effect, but I wouldn't be surprised if articles in some history mags were trying to pin more of the blame on Serbia, perhaps to advance the idea that WWI was just one more example of historical Russian aggression, since without Russian backing, Serbia may have yielded to the July 23 ultimatum. Do the articles you read mention Novichok being used in the assassination by any chance?

 

I mean, Nicholas II was a butcher, and a shallow, unmarked grave was the least he deserved. But it'd be pretty hard to seriously argue that WWI was solely -or even just mostly- Serbia's fault (and by proxy, Russia's).

 

As for sandwiches, I don't know. Wouldn't be the first historical event attributable to dumb luck. Would that really change anything?

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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The, in my humble opinion, best vantage point regarding WWI I’ve heard of is it being long existening violence merely re-imported into Europe. The colonies were ravaged by conflict for a long time already, and so it is easy to view WWI through this lense, as peripheral violence being brought back to the centre.

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

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Strange. I always thought European colonist expansion was to raise money and resources for the main military powers, so they could afford to keep fighting each other in Europe. Sometimes European wars spilled over into the colonies, rarely the other way (I think, no hard evidence)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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As for sandwiches, I don't know. Wouldn't be the first historical event attributable to dumb luck. Would that really change anything?

I'd argue that quite a lot.

Franz Ferdinant had different policy in mind for Austro-Hungary and his survival wouldn't make for such a strong casus belli.

With rise of Germany and decline of Ottoman empire some conflict was inevitable, but it took a special combination of politics, industrialization and advances in military technology to produce the war on that scale. 

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