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Rethinking WWI


Space Commander Travis

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Basil Fawlty would find it most amusing that the "they started it", "no you started it" arguments are still going on after 100 years. The level of nit picking reaches quite impressive levels too

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Questionmark said:

I'd appreciate it if you could provide evidence of this, please.

I said:

Questionmark said:

To quote the version you link:

I'm not sure how else I can explain it - Austria demanded the Serbian government allow representatives of the Austrian government into Serbia, and require Serbian authorities to collaborate with the Austrians. That's a blatant breach of sovereignty. As I said earlier, would you expect the US government to agree to a demand like that if a foreign head of state was assassinated?

These statements are so breathtakingly wrong that I seriously find it hard to believe you made them by accident. The transfer of these ships to Turkish control is well attested: http://en.wikipedia...._Breslau#Escape

The ship which accompanied the Breslau was the Goeben, not the Guben. You even called it the Goeben in an earlier post.

http://en.wikipedia....uzer_Goeben.jpg

And as for your comment about the ships not "...acting on Turkish command..." the ships were under the command of the German Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, who was appointed commander in chief of the Ottoman Navy on 23 September. As for your comment that "...nor was anybody of the crew from Turkey at the time..." no, not on the Goeben and Breslau. But for the attack on Sevastopol these two ships were accompanied by other Turkish ships which had full complements of Turkish crewmen.

\

I'd appreciate a non-Russian verification for that because as far as I know the 11 ships the Turks had at the time were busy keeping the Greeks at bay, besides my Error, I thought you were talking about the time when the Breslau was still a German ship, happens.

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Basil Fawlty would find it most amusing that the "they started it", "no you started it" arguments are still going on after 100 years. The level of nit picking reaches quite impressive levels too

They all started it is the right answer.

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I would include Great Britain in that list, they did not join in until it was getting to be evident that Germany would be able to get to Paris in no time (and thanks to the British intervention the advance actually was stopped) and that the Russians, still weakened from having been slapped all over the place by Japan 7 years before, would not have had much to stop the Germans either. With Russia and France out of the way and Austria as ally Germany actually would have been the superpower in Europe. That is about the last thing they [the British] could have wanted.

And all of this I agree with.

As Sir Humphrey put it in an episode of "Yes Minister" ("The Writing on the Wall"):

Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years - to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it's worked so well.
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And all of this I agree with.

As Sir Humphrey put it in an episode of "Yes Minister" ("The Writing on the Wall"):

Well there are only 4 reasons to go to war:

You are attacked and have no choice or

You either want more influence, loot or land. Sometimes all of the three.

The rest is boolcrappy spread around to make the sheeple fight.

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They all started it is the right answer.

I don't think so; I think it is appropriate to hold the Germans primarily responsible, at least the Kaiser's government. Reading this thread has more fully persuaded me of that than before.
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I don't think so; I think it is appropriate to hold the Germans primarily responsible, at least the Kaiser's government. Reading this thread has more fully persuaded me of that than before.

I don't think that any of the other two primary participants (Russia and France) had any better intentions. But hey, we are all free to form our own opinion.

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I'd appreciate a non-Russian verification for that because as far as I know the 11 ships the Turks had at the time were busy keeping the Greeks at bay, besides my Error, I thought you were talking about the time when the Breslau was still a German ship, happens.

Happy to oblige: http://www.worldwar1.com/tgws/relblacksea.htm

And so, on the morning of 29 October 1914, Goeben (now officially renamed Yavuz Sultan Selim, but her crew and commander remaining German and among themselves still using the ship's German name) stood off the Russian naval base at Sevastopol. It was Souchon's intention to bombard the harbor works and ships in port, although war had not yet been declared and some ministers of the Turkish government still opposed this action.

The Russians had warning -- the Turkish torpedo boats Mouavenet and Gairet had already attacked Odessa, sinking the old gunboat Donetz and damaging several other ships. So as Goeben steamed into range of the coast defense batteries at Sevastopol, they opened fire without hesitation. In the action that followed, Goeben fired 47 shells from her main battery, damaging a few buildings ashore, principally a hospital in return, she was hit three times by the shore batteries, forcing her to withdraw under cover of a smoke screen laid by her two attendant Turkish torpedo boats.

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That is a question you would have to ask Serbia.

Because the fact of the matter is that Serbia did nothing, nor had any intention to stop the Black Hand.

As I pointed out in post #97, Austria presented its ultimatum on 23 July and declared war on 28 July. What could you expect the Serbian government to achieve in that time?

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Yes, we are talking about the Goeben/Breslau and Sevastopol, and there was no Turkish boat near there. In fact, if the Russian timeline is accurate (which still is a matter of debate, because the Turks vehemently deny that,they claim to have set sail for Odessa when the Russians attacked the Goeben and Breslau) those Turkish boats were 300 miles away from Sevastopol.

To suppose that the transfer of the Goeben and Breslau to the Turks was anything but a ploy to keep them from being sunk by the British and that those boats stopped acting on German orders is as infantile as can be. (and therefore my "besides my Error, I thought you were talking about the time when the Breslau was still a German ship, happens.", but it looks like the attempt at irony failed).

As I pointed out in post #97, Austria presented its ultimatum on 23 July and declared war on 28 July. What could you expect the Serbian government to achieve in that time?

Say: "OK, we will give in to your demands". War over.

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18th century mentality driving Industrial Age Foreign Policy Politics and provided with late 19th century machinery of war is the tragedy of this mess ~

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18th century mentality driving Industrial Age Foreign Policy Politics and provided with late 19th century machinery of war is the tragedy of this mess ~

Not the first time, in fact it was the second time that not adapting strategies to technological advancement cause a large carnage, the time before was the US civil war.

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That Germany would go through Belgium to attack France was a known fact since 1905 shortly after the Schlieffen plan was finalized. France knew that (proven by the fact that they started to fortify their borders with Belgium) and most probably so did Belgium. So I don't know why everybody acts so shocked when they did it 9 years later.

I'd appreciate some evidence to back up this statement, please. My reading of the French military plans up to the infamous Plan XVII was that they considered the possibility of a German attack through Belgium, but that they did not have specific knowledge of the Schlieffen Plan.

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I'd appreciate some evidence to back up this statement, please. My reading of the French military plans up to the infamous Plan XVII was that they considered the possibility of a German attack through Belgium, but that they did not have specific knowledge of the Schlieffen Plan.

That would have been very surprising given the reinforcement against Belgium (with whom France had no beef) and that the plan was being circulated since 1906 among German military and politicians.

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Yes, we are talking about the Goeben/Breslau and Sevastopol, and there was no Turkish boat near there.

So you're rejecting the information in the link I provided? (http://www.worldwar1.com/tgws/relblacksea.htm)

In fact, if the Russian timeline is accurate (which still is a matter of debate, because the Turks vehemently deny that,they claim to have set sail for Odessa when the Russians attacked the Goeben and Breslau) those Turkish boats were 300 miles away from Sevastopol.

Could you please provide evidence to support the Turkish claim.

And what do you mean by the statement "...when the Russians attacked the Goeben and Breslau..."? How does those ships going to bombard Sevastopol count as the Russians attacking them?

To suppose that the transfer of the Goeben and Breslau to the Turks was anything but a ploy to keep them from being sunk by the British and that those boats stopped acting on German orders is as infantile as can be.

I certainly accept that the transfer of the ships to Turkish control was a ploy to keep them away from the British.

But I disagree that it's "infantile" to say that the transfer meant nothing else. I don't know whether Souchon launched the attack on Sevastopol on orders from Berlin, from members of the Turkish government or on his own initiative. If nothing else, Souchon was officially the commander in chief of the Turkish Navy, and the two ships were flying Turkish flags for the attack on Sevastopol, and treaty requirement forbade belligerent (that is, German-flagged) warships entering the Bosporus while Turkey was neutral.

(and therefore my "besides my Error, I thought you were talking about the time when the Breslau was still a German ship, happens.", but it looks like the attempt at irony failed).

Don't worry, I'll cop that one. My irony gene is useless on the Internet...

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And what do you mean by the statement "...when the Russians attacked the Goeben and Breslau..."? How does those ships going to bombard Sevastopol count as the Russians attacking them?

From your link:

The Russians had warning -- the Turkish torpedo boats Mouavenet and Gairet had already attacked Odessa, sinking the old gunboat Donetz and damaging several other ships. So as Goeben steamed into range of the coast defense batteries at Sevastopol, they opened fire without hesitation. In the action that followed, Goeben fired 47 shells from her main battery, damaging a few buildings ashore, principally a hospital in return, she was hit three times by the shore batteries, forcing her to withdraw under cover of a smoke screen laid by her two attendant Turkish torpedo boats. It was the Germans' first taste of Russian gunfire, and its accuracy was an unpleasant surprise.

So, the Russians attacked the boats before any of those boats opened fire... call it whatever you want.

The Russians say that the Turks attacked Odessa first, the Turks say that they attacked Odessa after the Goeben was attacked. And I still don't see any mention of any (real) Turkish boat (VS fake like the two German cruisers) anywhere near Sevastopol.

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So you're rejecting the information in the link I provided? (http://www.worldwar1...relblacksea.htm)

Could you please provide evidence to support the Turkish claim.

"While on the 27th of October a small part of the Turkish fleet was maneuvering on the Black Sea, the Russian fleet, which at first confined its activities to following and hindering every one of our movements, finally, on the 29th, unexpectedly began hostilities by at-tacking the Ottoman fleet. During the naval battle which ensued the Turkish fleet, with the help of the Almighty, sank the mine layer Pruth, inflicted severe damage on one of the Russian torpedo boats, and captured a collier. A torpedo from the Turkish torpedo boat Gairet-i-Millet sank the Russian destroyer Koubanietz, and another from the Turkish torpedo boat Mouavenet-i-Millet inflicted serious damage on a Russian coast guard ship. Three officers and seventy-two sailors rescued by our men and belonging to the crews of the damaged and sunken vessels of the Russian fleet have been made prisoners. The Ottoman Imperial Fleet, glory be given to the Almighty, escaped injury, and the battle is progressing favorably for us. Information received from our fleet, now in the Black Sea, is as follows:

"From accounts of Russian sailors taken prisoners, and, from the presence of a mine layer among the Russian fleet, evidence is gathered that the Russian fleet intended closing the entrance to the Bosporus with mines, and destroying entirely the Imperial Ottoman fleet, after having split it in two. Our fleet, believing that it had to face an unexpected at-tack, and supposing that the Russians had be-gun hostilities without a formal declaration of war, pursued the scattered Russian fleet, bombarded the port of Sebastopol, destroyed in the city of Novorossisk fifty petroleum depots, fourteen military transports, some granaries, and the wireless telegraph station. In addition to the above our fleet has sunk in Odessa a Russian cruiser, and damaged severely an-other. It is believed that this second boat was likewise sunk. Five other steamers full of cargoes lying in the same port were seriously damaged. A steamship belonging to the Russian volunteer fleet was also sunk, and five petroleum depots were destroyed. In Odessa and Sebastopol the Russians from the shore opened fire against our fleet."

The Sultan at once declared war against Russia, England and France, and issued a proclamation to his troops, declaring that he had called them to arms to resist aggression and that "the very existence of our Empire and of three hundred million Moslems whom I have summoned by sacred Fetwa to a supreme struggle, depend on your victory. Do not for-get that you are brothers in arms of the strongest and bravest armies of the world, with whom we are now fighting shoulder to shoulder."

from the Turkish declaration of war

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That would have been very surprising given the reinforcement against Belgium (with whom France had no beef) and that the plan was being circulated since 1906 among German military and politicians.

Well, could you still please point to some evidence to back up these statements, please.

My information comes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_XVII

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Well, could you still please point to some evidence to back up these statements, please.

My information comes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_XVII

While I don't give much about Wiki as primary source, it also says that the Schlieffen plan was circulated.

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While I have stated, clearly and in several posts in this thread, that all the great powers had some responsibility for the war occurring, it is not true that all are equally responsible. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact, and the fact is that Germany has a greater burden of responsibility. The weight of history and the weight of the countless documents from those times show that Germany is more culpable than the other powers. To say that all are equally responsible has the effect of diminishing Germany's greater responsibilty, to that of nothing more than any other power. This essentially is a means of absolving Germany from it's greater role in causing the war. Those who clearly wish to absolve Germany from this blame should try to be honest and state clearly why they want this, as I have not read a single post in this thread that explains this fringe and revisionist opinion, and that is all it is, an opinion, that I believe is informed by poltics, not history. Posters here who have argued for the orthodox, true history of the war, have been met with lies, obfuscation and the most transparent cheap forum "debating" tricks. If those of the fringe want to overturn history, then start giving reasons why you want this, and give your sources. The onus is on you fringies to show your case. The case for real history is already made and, if you seek the sources, then you will find them in countles books and documents, thousands upon thousands of them. Fact is not opinion, it is fact, and the fact is that Germany has greater blame for that war than the other powers. If anybody disagrees, then prove it with facts, not opinion or because a certain political viewpoint says so.

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While I have stated, clearly and in several posts in this thread, that all the great powers had some responsibility for the war occurring, it is not true that all are equally responsible. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact, and the fact is that Germany has a greater burden of responsibility. The weight of history and the weight of the countless documents from those times show that Germany is more culpable than the other powers. To say that all are equally responsible has the effect of diminishing Germany's greater responsibilty, to that of nothing more than any other power. This essentially is a means of absolving Germany from it's greater role in causing the war. Those who clearly wish to absolve Germany from this blame should try to be honest and state clearly why they want this, as I have not read a single post in this thread that explains this fringe and revisionist opinion, and that is all it is, an opinion, that I believe is informed by poltics, not history. Posters here who have argued for the orthodox, true history of the war, have been met with lies, obfuscation and the most transparent cheap forum "debating" tricks. If those of the fringe want to overturn history, then start giving reasons why you want this, and give your sources. The onus is on you fringies to show your case. The case for real history is already made and, if you seek the sources, then you will find them in countless books and documents, thousands upon thousands of them. Fact is not opinion, it is fact, and the fact is that Germany has greater blame for that war than the other powers. If anybody disagrees, then prove it with facts, not opinion or because a certain political viewpoint says so.

:nw:

give it another 20 years once all those who took part have died and they'll be doing the same with World War II. already hearing politicians in the EU Parliament saying world war II should be called or reclassified as the 'European civil war' and replacing the word Germans with Nazis. yes give it time and kids will be taught, we never fought the Germans but the Nazis in a european civil war - I heard this crap on a broadcast from the EU Parliament - discussing the 'House of European History - some sort of EU Museum. :gun:

We've had two world wars, count them, thats two world wars and Germany is responsible for the two of them they mass murdered people by the millions and yet we do business with them today. 75 years later and that same country as the biggest economy in europe doing trade all over the world and yet people go on about how we shouldn't be trading and having relations with the likes of Saudi Arabia etc... but never mention German who must rank top of the table when it comes to genocide / atrocities. Germany still to this day should be under sanctions for what they done. i can never understand just how lightly they got away with it all, and then we have people trying to paint Germany in a good light. be it the first world war or second. the question then might be but how long do we hold them to account. well alot longer than 75 years.

Edited by stevewinn
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:nw:

give it another 20 years once all those who took part have died and they'll be doing the same with World War II. already hearing politicians in the EU Parliament saying world war II should be called or reclassified as the 'European civil war' and replacing the word Germans with Nazis. yes give it time and kids will be taught, we never fought the Germans but the Nazis in a european civil war - I heard this crap on a broadcast from the EU Parliament - discussing the 'House of European History - some sort of EU Museum. :gun:

We've had two world wars, count them, thats two world wars and Germany is responsible for the two of them they mass murdered people by the millions and yet we do business with them today. 75 years later and that same country as the biggest economy in europe doing trade all over the world and yet people go on about how we shouldn't be trading and having relations with the likes of Saudi Arabia etc... but never mention German who must rank top of the table when it comes to genocide / atrocities. Germany still to this day should be under sanctions for what they done. i can never understand just how lightly they got away with it all, and then we have people trying to paint Germany in a good light. be it the first world war or second. the question then might be but how long do we hold them to account. well alot longer than 75 years.

Thanks :)

And thanks for mentioning clearly the political motives behind this scurrilous attempt to re-write history by the EU reptiles :)

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I don't know why the debate sentres around which nation is more responsible for starting WWI, because that is not the meat of Gove's comments.

Note he takes a pot-shot at "Left-wing myths about the First World War peddled by Blackadder..."

Here, Gove is not complaining about assigning responsibility for starting the war, because the tv series Blackadder does not really touch upon that. This is about the perception of the UK Military and Government authorities of the time being incompetent and self-serving to the point of criminality.

Here, Gove is almost certainly unable to score any points because we can all see the govt today is as incompetent and self-serving as Blackadder's satire makes the govt of the early 20th century to be.

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I don't know why the debate sentres around which nation is more responsible for starting WWI, because that is not the meat of Gove's comments.

Note he takes a pot-shot at "Left-wing myths about the First World War peddled by Blackadder..."

Here, Gove is not complaining about assigning responsibility for starting the war, because the tv series Blackadder does not really touch upon that. This is about the perception of the UK Military and Government authorities of the time being incompetent and self-serving to the point of criminality.

Here, Gove is almost certainly unable to score any points because we can all see the govt today is as incompetent and self-serving as Blackadder's satire makes the govt of the early 20th century to be.

What I think you are about is things like the "Lions led by donkeys" quote. This has a long history that predates the Great Capitalist War and has been used by various countries about either their own or an enemy army. In regard to British usage about the war, it seems not to have been used until the 1960s when the relaxed social climate of the day allowed such remarks to be made. It was also this period that spawned the anti-war film "Oh what a lovely War" which drips with a certain political bias that is not simply anti-war, it is also anti-military and sits well within the world of the useful idiots of CND. These attitudes about the first war seem to have come from a certain political opinion developed by those who did not fight in that war, and in some cases not even in WWII. It is more than clear that many generals on all sides in the war did not know what they were doing, though mostly through lack of imagination in a type of war that they had never conceived of, not the malicious stupidity they stand accused of, and now cannot answer. That the war should not have been fought, that the ordinary soldier, in any army, was simply cannon fodder, is not disputed. What is disputed, aside from who, amongst a bunch of scum, imo, should shoulder most blame, but that the war was conducted in quite the bloodthirsty and cynical way by the generals as we are led to believe. That, in the UK, some of these "myths" about the war date from the 1960s and not from the war itself, tells a story of political machinations that some, if not very many, have come to believe is the truth of how things were. The soldiers who fought the war did not describe general Haig as "butcher Haig", that came, not from the soldiers who did the fighting, but his political detractors after his death in 1928. I see Gove's remarks as being more against a political view that hates soldiers per se, indeed views them as almost fascists, except when they are used to fight the self righteous wars of that particular politcal faction, yes, you, Tony "Demon eyes" Blair and the odious creeps around you then, and existing now, and of course the moron who apparently shares your toothpaste.

Edited by Kaa-Tzik
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I don't know why the debate sentres around which nation is more responsible for starting WWI, because that is not the meat of Gove's comments.

Note he takes a pot-shot at "Left-wing myths about the First World War peddled by Blackadder..."

Here, Gove is not complaining about assigning responsibility for starting the war, because the tv series Blackadder does not really touch upon that. This is about the perception of the UK Military and Government authorities of the time being incompetent and self-serving to the point of criminality.

Here, Gove is almost certainly unable to score any points because we can all see the govt today is as incompetent and self-serving as Blackadder's satire makes the govt of the early 20th century to be.

Gove who i think we need to point out for those who dont know is the Government Education minster, and he was having a pot shot at the left wing handwringers, as for blackadder Goes forth - It was singled out because its being used in schools to help teach the students and its totally inappropriate, if we go one further, what exactly is funny about the First world war that blackadder has the licence to use satire comedy to basically ridicule those who took part. i think its an utter disgrace the way it paints a picture of incompetent Government and leadership. yet the reality was a Government / leadership struggling with the changing tactics and technological advances of the age when it comes to warfare.

here im talking about it being used in schools as a teaching aid. we have to be damn careful in how we teach History. sadly the film media ingrains in the memory a lot easier than the text version. how many people form an opinion of history from such inappropriate sources/media of Historical events. how many people actually think films such as 'pearl harbour' 'Braveheart' 'Shakespear in love' are accurate depictions of history.

So i think Gove is well within his right to have a pop.

Edited by stevewinn
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