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Are you asking why we don't have a History/Military History subsection? Here's a thread where you can ask that.

Did you want to talk about a specific bit of history? Please open a thread in either the Lounge, Politics, or Other Sciences, depending on the angle you'd prefer to talk about. Be as specific as you can and you'll get specific responses.

Also, "except" is the wrong preposition to use in this instance, since I assume you're including yourself with the set of history/military enthusiasts. "Except me" EXCLUDES you. If you're including yourself, you use "besides". "Any history/military enthusiasts out there, besides me?" You could also use the more clumsy "apart from" if you prefer. Note that I'm also assuming you're a grammar/language enthusiast as well.

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11 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Any history/military enthusiasts out there except me? 

There may be a few of us ...

What would you like to discuss ?

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Also, history is a big topic. It pretty much encompasses everything. Might help to narrow it down a bit. 

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19 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Any history/military enthusiasts out there except me? 

My son is, and I try to keep up, a bit. His main interest is the ancient world, but not exclusively so.

I would certainly be interested in reading threads on that subject, anyway.  

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I'm no expert but I'm always willing to learn. And it's related to science and engineering very directly. For example:

-Espionage and the like from Julius Caesar to the Cold War (cryptography)

-The paradox of the two generals or the coordinated attack (logic)

-Alloys and other materials from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age to Magnesium alloys (materials science)

And then, computers, ballistics, chemical warfare, biological warfare, cartography, the MAD strategy during the Cold War. Some of them very unnerving topics, but very interesting nonetheless.

There are very knowledgeable people here, and I think those would be very interesting discussions.

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Seems everyone talks about what a good idea it is, but no-one is willing to commit.

Very well, since we have quite a few Brits, and it is one of my favorites ( everyone loves to 'hate' the French ), I'll bring up the 1415 battle of Agincourt, where a numerically superior French force was defeated by the English, as part of the 100 year squabble between the English and French.

The English 'provoked' the campaign, and final battle, due to unrealistic demands they made on the French, during the failed negotiations leading up to the event, but the French ( who were not led by their king as he was nuts ) should have easily defeated the English forces, led by King Henry the Fifth.

Some of the proposed causes for the French defeat are the supposed location, a narrow, freshly ploughed, strip of land between two dense forested areas, on which the French cavalry was bogged down ( although the actual site may be disputed ).
Another cause might be the typical French arrogance, where all the mounted nobles wanted to be in front of the charge, for the greater 'glory' and rewards, where they were easily picked off ( as opposed to chess, where the pawns go first ).

Myself, being an advocate of greater firepower, and military technology, to prevent, and shorten wars, see the main cause for the French defeat due to the English longbow, which had enough force to penetrate French armor.
If the English had to engage in hand-to-hand combat, the battlefield terrain would have affected them as much as it did the French, but their longbows allowed them to pick off the French like 'fish in a barrel', without having to get down in the mud.

Moral of the story ...
Always have superior firepower, either to dissuade others from picking figts with you, or to quickly 'best' them, if the situation escalates into war.

( I'm sure CharonY, and ppossibly Studiot, will have something to say about my viewpoint )

Edited by MigL
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5 minutes ago, MigL said:

Myself, being an advocate of greater firepower, and military technology, to prevent, and shorten wars, see the main cause for the French defeat due to the English longbow, which had enough force to penetrate French armor.
If the English had to engage in hand-to-hand combat, the battlefield terrain would have affected them as much as it did the French, but their longbows allowed them to pick off the French like 'fish in a barrel', without having to get down in the mud.

Yes. As Alfred Tirpitz wrote in his memoirs, WW1 would not have happened if Germany had built a fleet equal to that of Great Britain.

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I believe that would have initially kept England out of WW1, as they were almost looking for an excuse not to participate, but eventually would have had to.
Once the fighting had stagnated into trench warfare on the Western Front, the German fleet might have been able to keep supply lines open longer, therby prolonging the war, but eventually it would have reached the same conclusion.

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4 hours ago, MigL said:

Seems everyone talks about what a good idea it is, but no-one is willing to commit.

Very well, since we have quite a few Brits, and it is one of my favorites ( everyone loves to 'hate' the French ), I'll bring up the 1415 battle of Agincourt, where a numerically superior French force was defeated by the English, as part of the 100 year squabble between the English and French.

The English 'provoked' the campaign, and final battle, due to unrealistic demands they made on the French, during the failed negotiations leading up to the event, but the French ( who were not led by their king as he was nuts ) should have easily defeated the English forces, led by King Henry the Fifth.

Some of the proposed causes for the French defeat are the supposed location, a narrow, freshly ploughed, strip of land between two dense forested areas, on which the French cavalry was bogged down ( although the actual site may be disputed ).
Another cause might be the typical French arrogance, where all the mounted nobles wanted to be in front of the charge, for the greater 'glory' and rewards, where they were easily picked off ( as opposed to chess, where the pawns go first ).

Myself, being an advocate of greater firepower, and military technology, to prevent, and shorten wars, see the main cause for the French defeat due to the English longbow, which had enough force to penetrate French armor.
If the English had to engage in hand-to-hand combat, the battlefield terrain would have affected them as much as it did the French, but their longbows allowed them to pick off the French like 'fish in a barrel', without having to get down in the mud.

Moral of the story ...
Always have superior firepower, either to dissuade others from picking figts with you, or to quickly 'best' them, if the situation escalates into war.

( I'm sure CharonY, and ppossibly Studiot, will have something to say about my viewpoint )

Recital of this victory for England always reminds me of the curious fact that at school we learned about this battle, Crecy and Poitiers, but were never told that England lost the Hundred Years War, to France.

It's one example of how history is often taught, or recollected, in a partial way, in order to bolster national myths.

These national myths can have real consequences. 

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The first militarisitc question in my mind is concerned with more recent times...Like the many times asked question, was the US morally and/or tactically correct in dropping Little Boy and Fat man?

Considering what I do know, such as Pearl Harbour, the fanatical "hari kari" approach of Japan in preference to capture or defeat, and consequently the numbers of Allied forces that may have been lost, if invading Japan had of eventuated,  the already achieved situation of the Allies having driven Japan back to their homeland and already near actual defeat,  tells me sadly, that they really had no choice. 

In saying that, I have been to Japan twice and find the Japanese as probably the most polite, helpful and considerate people I have seen.

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Just now, beecee said:

Considering what I do know, such as Pearl Harbour, the fanatical "hari kari" approach of Japan in preference to capture or defeat, and consequently the numbers of Allied forces that may have been lost, if invading Japan had of eventuated,  the already achieved situation of the Allies having driven Japan back to their homeland and already near actual defeat,  tells me sadly, that they really had no choice. 

This is part of an interesting and ongoing discussion among historians. A position that was developed directly post WWII is basically grounded in a similar reasoning provided here. If an invasion was necessary, the losses would have been huge. Thus the loss of civilian lives would have been acceptable.

Since then another school of thought has been formed which basically takes overtures from the Japanese into account. For example, in secret Japan's leader were trying to mediate peace via the Soviet Union. But these overtures where dashed when the Soviets invaded Manchuria and Korea. The Japanese Supreme War Council itself was split, i.e. while to the outside an all out war until self-destruction was propagated to the masses, what is known from internal deliberations were basically at a stalemate. The issue was not so much whether to surrender, but under which condition they would accept it. This included for example the preservation of the status of the Emperor but also who would be responsible for demobilization and so on.

However, that would have been unacceptable to allies. As a whole it is of course pure speculation whether the stalemate could have been broken say with only one bomb, or even without goes into the realm of speculation, of course. But it is rather clear that the bombs have helped the faction which was in favour of peace anyway.

But I think the fact that in the background Japanese leadership was trying to figure out a way to surrender shows that the situation was more complex than the stereotype of fanatically death wish may make it seem (which, to be fair, was part of their propaganda system instilled into their troops). As such, answers to these questions are also complex and, at least without contemporary documents highlighting the thought processes of the involved leadership, very difficult or impossible to answer with certainty.

 

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23 minutes ago, CharonY said:

This is part of an interesting and ongoing discussion among historians. As such, answers to these questions are also complex and, at least without contemporary documents highlighting the thought processes of the involved leadership, very difficult or impossible to answer with certainty.

Thanks for that informative rundown, particularly the highlighted part.

In even more recent times, I remember at school [a Catholic school] how with reference to the Vietnam war, the now discredited  "domino theory" was shoved down our throats. That of course was shown to be wrong, with the western leaders lead by Einsenhower mistaking their thought processes re the spread of communism, with the real facts of  Ho Chi Minh wanting independence for Vietnam and as a united nation.

 

Edited by beecee
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The motivations, historical background, technologies, etc in the 100-Years War, WWII, the Cold War, etc. are very different. I think we are losing focus; or rather, creating different focuses. One thing is for sure though: @Hans de Vries can rest assured there are many people here willing to discuss war besides him.

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12 hours ago, beecee said:

The first militarisitc question in my mind is concerned with more recent times...Like the many times asked question, was the US morally and/or tactically correct in dropping Little Boy and Fat man?

What about the bombing of Dresden?

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20 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

Yes. As Alfred Tirpitz wrote in his memoirs, WW1 would not have happened if Germany had built a fleet equal to that of Great Britain.

How does that work? I would have thought the Franco-Russian Alliance would have ensured the war took place, regardless of the UK's desire to take part. 

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10 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

What about the bombing of Dresden?

The bombing of Tokyo? All war is basically immoral.

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12 hours ago, exchemist said:

How does that work? I would have thought the Franco-Russian Alliance would have ensured the war took place, regardless of the UK's desire to take part. 

There is a better example. WW3 did not start due to the nuclear parity between the USSR and NATO.

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19 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

There is a better example. WW3 did not start due to the nuclear parity between the USSR and NATO.

Er, I'm not asking for better example of anything.

I'd like to know how the argument goes that WW1 could have been avoided if Germany had had a bigger navy. It seems to me that, seeing as France and Russia had a mutual defence pact, the war did not hinge on the UK's participation. 

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7 minutes ago, exchemist said:

I'd like to know how the argument goes that WW1 could have been avoided if Germany had had a bigger navy. It seems to me that, seeing as France and Russia had a mutual defence pact, the war did not hinge on the UK's participation. 

Perhaps Great Britain would have dissuaded France and Russia from entering the war. A contract is a contract and its execution is its execution. Italy did not enter the war on the side of the central powers.

And all these examples to confirm the truth, " If you want peace, prepare for war"

 

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Although the example of parity between NATO and the USSR is valid, it doesn't apply to the situation in WW!.

The time line is as follows ...
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, after Serbia could not meet the unrealistic terms demanded by A-H after the assassination of arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand.
Germany is obligated by treaty to participate on the A-H side ( Italy was also a member of the Triple alliance but was persuaded with promises of territorial gains to switch sides ).
Russia, as the protector of the Baltic states, started mobilizing her armies even before declaring war on A-H and Germany ( because its railway system was ineffective ).
France was obligated by treaty to aid the Russians, and Germany, realizing this, decided to fight the war on two fronts; a swift attack on France, using the Shleiffen plan, taking Paris in less than the two weeks needed for Russia to mobilize her troops, then using its state-of-the-art railway system to get its troops to the Eastern front to meet the Russians.
Unfortunately, the swift attack on France necessitated Germany moving her troops through Belgium, and that is what brought the British into the war. Up until that point they were trying their best to stay out of the mess, even ignoring the 1904 ( non binding ) Entente Cordiale they had with France.

The 'fog' of war made sure that Von Moltke ( the younger ) failed to follow the Shleiffen plan, and the hoped for, swift victory bogged down in trenh warfare almost to the Normandy coast.
WW1 has always been described as a 'powder keg' that was waiting to happen, and I'm sure, with different circumstances, some might have initially stayed out ( Britain and Italy ), but would have eventually been pulled in as well.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, exchemist said:

Er, I'm not asking for better example of anything.

I'd like to know how the argument goes that WW1 could have been avoided if Germany had had a bigger navy. It seems to me that, seeing as France and Russia had a mutual defence pact, the war did not hinge on the UK's participation. 

No chances for a bigger German navy. Germany unlike Britain, has two large neighboors to the west and east + no easily defensible borders like Italy. It needs a large land army. 

 

BTW Wilhelm II is probably more responsible for ww1 than anyone else. More precisely his inferiority complex resulting from a withered arm due to birth complications resulted in an extremely strong drive to prove that he's better than George V and can also have a fleet. 

Edited by Hans de Vries
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3 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

No chances for a bigger German navy. Germany unlike Britain, has two large neighboors to the west and east + no easily defensible borders like Italy. It needs a large land army. 

 

BTW Wilhelm II is probably more responsible for ww1 than anyone else. More precisely his inferiority complex resulting from a withered arm due to birth complications resulted in an extremely strong drive to prove that he's better than George V and can also have a fleet. 

I thought you had abandoned this thread.

 

On 6/11/2021 at 2:35 PM, SergUpstart said:

Yes. As Alfred Tirpitz wrote in his memoirs, WW1 would not have happened if Germany had built a fleet equal to that of Great Britain.

 

Well actually they did. The german fleet was superior to the british one.

And practically they won the engagement at Jutland, but they then ran away.

And their fleet mutinied in and refused to fight again.

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How can it be superior? It was much smaller. At Jutland there were 99 German ships vs 151 British ship

Yes the German ships were (likely) slightly more accurate and had stronger systems to pump water out. This still did not make for the numerial inferiority

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1 minute ago, Hans de Vries said:

How can it be superior? It was much smaller. At Jutland there were 99 German ships vs 151 British ship

Yes the German ships were (likely) slightly more accurate and had stronger systems to pump water out. This still did not make for the numerial inferiority

 

The German fleet had superior gunnery in both the method of feeding the shells and protection against flashback into the magazines.

This is why they were able to inflict so much damage on the British fleet.

 

The British made a similar mistake with HMS Exeter and the Exocet in the Falklands campaign.

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