For WW1 & WW2 History Buffs

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  • #51
Klystron
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No argument from my perspective on the perfidy of nazi Germany and the deplorable tactics employed during WWI. Rather, within the confines of this thread, the historical record of life and death within the USSR requires ongoing research as information becomes exposed and translated after the fall of the Soviet Union. Although an important step in understanding the USSR in this period, I have never been satisfied with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's scholarship and bias.

As a recipient of a classical education I chose the years between WWI and WWII, inclusive, as "my period" of study. Security, censorship and cultural bias left numerous lacunae in understanding the Soviet revolution and subsequent governments. Even as an adult, I found more similarities than opposites understanding policy within Stalinist USSR and nazi Germany. Admittedly, I much prefer studying American Jazz and Weimar Dada movements, for examples during this period, to trying to fathom the evil of concentration camps and ingrained antisemitism in both countries.
 
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From Erwin Bartmann's memoir - how the anti-Jew hatred was being imposed on the German troops:

The train slowed. Life returned to the bored faces of my Kameraden. A sign drifted past the window: Kraków. Even before the train juddered to a halt, the carriage doors crashed open. We poured onto the platform and lined up in our platoons to await further instructions. ‘There is no transport available. We must march to our destination,’ explained an officer. The evening air was pleasantly mild and I looked forward to stretching my legs after the long journey. Singing our soldiers’ songs, our hob-nailed boots struck the cobbled road in perfect synchrony – a thousand feet, a single entity, a single will – the realisation of my boyhood dream of joining the Leibstandarte. In the fading light, a double set of tram rails led us over a bridge spanning the River Vistula. After a short distance, they disappeared under two massive timber gates, each surmounted by a curving archway carrying an inscription written in Hebrew. On top of the central pillar separating the gates was the Judenstern (Star of David). As if by its own will, the gate on the right creaked open at our approach, the entrance to a dark and sinister world. Our mouths fell silent as we marched through the dingy streets. From the open windows of apartment blocks, gaunt faces stared at us with haunted eyes. Jeers of hatred rose up from behind the open doors of the dilapidated buildings. Hands with piss pots in them darted from upstairs windows to fling their contents over us. ‘Do not react,’ ordered an officer, ‘they have their own customs and laws here.’ After leaving the ghetto, we followed the rise in the road until we reached the barracks where units of the Waffen SS Division Totenkopf were billeted. We slung our backpacks onto the bunks. Those who had fallen victim to the cascades of urine cleaned themselves up as best they could. Fortunately, most of those in my platoon escaped the soaking.

https://books.google.com/books?id=oOnZAwAAQBAJ
 
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  • #54
Bandersnatch
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Imagine if 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. were casualties during WW2. Absolutely insane.
It's a hypothetical for the US, but it's the actual proportion lost by Poland.
 
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  • #55
DennisN
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I saw 1917 (2019) the other day and was completely mesmerized by it. Just an a-m-a-z-i-n-g movie.
Saving Private Ryan is one of my favorite movies, and I liked 1917 at least as much, maybe even more!

The filming is exceptional! They actually did something which has never been made before in the history of movies, but I won't reveal it since it would be a spoiler for those who have not seen it. If you want to see the movie, do not read about it until you've seen it. And if you have seen it, don't reveal it here, please. :wink:

What I am thinking of can not be seen in the trailer, which is here:

My rating:

Suspense/Thrill: 11/10 :smile:
Filming: 10/10
Acting: 9/10
Story: 9/10

...so you may understand that I liked this movie a LOT.
An interesting thing is that even if it depicts mostly men, it was cowritten by one man and one woman.
And they sure did their homework.

If you are interested in WW1, you simply have to see this movie.
And if you are not interested in WW1, you still simply have to see this movie. :smile:
 
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  • #56
pinball1970
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I saw 1917 (2019) the other day and was completely mesmerized by it. Just an a-m-a-z-i-n-g movie.
Saving Private Ryan is one of my favorite movies, and I liked 1917 at least as much, maybe even more!

The filming is exceptional! They actually did something which has never been made before in the history of movies, but I won't reveal it since it would be a spoiler for those who have not seen it. If you want to see the movie, do not read about it until you've seen it. And if you have seen it, don't reveal it here, please. :wink:

What I am thinking of can not be seen in the trailer, which is here:

My rating:

Suspense/Thrill: 11/10 :smile:
Filming: 10/10
Acting: 9/10
Story: 9/10

...so you may understand that I liked this movie a LOT.
An interesting thing is that even if it depicts mostly men, it was cowritten by one man and one woman.
And they sure did their homework.

If you are interested in WW1, you simply have to see this movie.
And if you are not interested in WW1, you still simply have to see this movie. :smile:
It's definitely one I want to watch
 
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  • #57
DennisN
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It's definitely one I want to watch
That sounds good! :smile:
I saw it at daytime and still found it very scary, and if I had the opportunity to watch it again for the first time, I would see it in complete darkness instead. :smile:
 
  • #58
DennisN
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@Drakkith , you are the starter of this thread. Have you seen 1917?
 
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Drakkith
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DennisN
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After I saw 1917 I did some wikireading on WW1 and stumbled upon three interesting facts I did not know:
  • There are still areas of "no mans land" from WW1 that are forbidden to visit, due to the large amount of unexploded ammunition and large levels of toxins present. The areas in France are called Zone Rouge* (Red Zone):
Red_Zone_Map-fr.svg.png

  • Erich Ludendorff had such extreme views that the Nazis did not want to associate with him (!).

    Erich Ludendorff was one of the two de facto leaders of Germany during WW1, along with Hindenburg; Germany became practically a military dictatorship during the war. Ludendorff is very much connected to Hitler and the rise of the Nazis and therefore also World War II, which is another indicator of how much the two world wars are connected.

    Ludendorff got quite extreme and crazy after the loss of World War I, and got into conspiracy theories and antisemitism. He got so extreme that the Nazis did not want to associate with him (!), quote:

    "Ludendorff's behavior became more erratic. Years before, he had begun a romantic affair with psychologist Dr. Mathilde Kemnitz, a Nazi hanger-on with delusional theories that Word War I had been orchestrated by an alliance of Jews, Catholic Jesuits, and Freemasons. Former friends distanced themselves from him, with even the Nazis eventually declaring him too extreme."

    He is also very much connected to the Stab-in-the-back myth which contributed to the political success of the Nazis in Germany, quote:

    "Malcolm asked him: "Do you mean, General, that you were stabbed in the back?" Ludendorff's eyes lit up and he leapt upon the phrase like a dog on a bone. "Stabbed in the back?" he repeated. "Yes, that's it, exactly, we were stabbed in the back". And thus was born a legend which has never entirely perished."

    Articles:
    Stab in the back myth - Origins of the myth
    Everything You Need to Know About the Nazi Villain from 'Wonder Woman'

  • Early versions of modern tanks was first introduced in World War I, and the word "tank" is not directly related to its use. It was a word they chose to keep the development secret, quote:

    "In Great Britain, an initial vehicle, nicknamed Little Willie, was constructed at William Foster & Co., during August and September 1915. The prototype of a new design that became the Mark I tank was demonstrated to the British Army on February 2, 1916. Although initially termed "Landships" by the Landship Committee, production vehicles were named "tanks", to preserve secrecy. The term was chosen when it became known that the factory workers at William Foster referred to the first prototype as "the tank" because of its resemblance to a steel water tank."

    Source: Tanks in World War I

--------------------------------------------------------------

* In 2004 I was on a trip in France with two friends where we participated in the 60th anniversary of D-Day (The Normandy invasion in 1944). We camped close beside Omaha Beach.

We visited a lot of other historical places, among them Oradour-Sur Glane where I took many photos which I later released as public domain (some of them are here on the Wikipedia page). The interesting result of releasing them as public domain is that I have seen some of my photos appear in e.g. newspapers all over the world in articles about Oradour-Sur Glane, which made me quite happy; it was quite satisfying to unexpectedly achieve some historical impact with mere tourist photos. :biggrin:

We also visited Verdun which is famous for the Battle of Verdun in 1916 during WW1.
And Verdun is very close to the Red Zone of "no mans land". Here are some photos I took in Verdun:

A monument:

50397982831_4bc1b66c31_c.jpg


Another monument:

50397982776_1f7d4701cd_c.jpg


Another monument:

50397982736_3d653a84b4_c.jpg


Top of the monument:

(some photo artifacts, because I removed my two friends from the photo as I do not have asked them permission to post them publicly)

50397292418_0633e7fb11_c.jpg


A big gun:

(some photo artifacts, because I removed my two friends from the photo as I do not have asked them permission to post them publicly)

50397982676_7bf0b7d022_c.jpg


The barrel of the big gun:

50398141832_f0d737fc0a_c.jpg
 
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  • #61
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  • Erich Ludendorff had such extreme views that the Nazis did not want to associate with him (!).

    Erich Ludendorff was one of the two de facto leaders of Germany during WW1, along with Hindenburg; Germany became practically a military dictatorship during the war. Ludendorff is very much connected to Hitler and the rise of the Nazis and therefore also World War II, which is another indicator of how much the two world wars are connected.

    Ludendorff got quite extreme and crazy after the loss of World War I, and got into conspiracy theories and antisemitism. He got so extreme that the Nazis did not want to associate with him (!), quote:

    "Ludendorff's behavior became more erratic. Years before, he had begun a romantic affair with psychologist Dr. Mathilde Kemnitz, a Nazi hanger-on with delusional theories that Word War I had been orchestrated by an alliance of Jews, Catholic Jesuits, and Freemasons. Former friends distanced themselves from him, with even the Nazis eventually declaring him too extreme."

    He is also very much connected to the Stab-in-the-back myth which contributed to the political success of the Nazis in Germany, quote:

    "Malcolm asked him: "Do you mean, General, that you were stabbed in the back?" Ludendorff's eyes lit up and he leapt upon the phrase like a dog on a bone. "Stabbed in the back?" he repeated. "Yes, that's it, exactly, we were stabbed in the back". And thus was born a legend which has never entirely perished."

    Articles:
    Stab in the back myth - Origins of the myth
    Everything You Need to Know About the Nazi Villain from 'Wonder Woman'
Although Ludendorff's extreme views came at an inconvenient time when the Nazis were trying to woo traditional German conservatives by appearing respectable. Supposedly he sent this to Hindenburg in 1933 when Hitler was appointed Chancellor:
I solemnly prophesy that this accursed man will cast our Reich into the abyss and bring our nation to inconceivable misery. Future generations will damn you in your grave for what you have done.[66]
Later after Hitler assumed power he tried to make Ludendorff a Field Marshall but he declined to accept.
 
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  • #62
Drakkith
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AI colorized and enhanced video of HMS Barham capsizing and suffering a magazine explosion.



You can see several terrifying things:
  • Men sliding/jumping off of the side of the ship.
  • Multi-hundred-ton pieces of the armor belt flying hundreds of feet into the air (near top of screen just after explosion).
  • A huge piece of the deck fold back on itself and nearly impacting the superstructure. That's a 1-3 inch piece of steel that's roughly 150-250 feet long and 75 feet across.
The Barham was hit by 3 torpedoes fired from U-331 at a ludicrously close range of 410 yards. That's just over two ship-lengths away, as the Barham was almost 200 yards long. At 40 knots, a torpedo would only take about 18 seconds to hit the ship, giving the Barham no time to react and dodge or make preparations.

Barham sank in 4 minutes after being hit, taking 862 men down with her.
 
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  • #63
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Barham sank in 4 minutes after being hit, taking 862 men down with her.
after watching that, its amazing that 337 survived
 
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  • #64
DennisN
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Looking forward to it as well, hope it doesn’t suck

This was a good relatively recent WW1 film, about the mining of Messine Ridge, the largest man made explosion until Trinity
I saw Beneath Hill 60 a couple of days ago, and I liked it a lot. I thought it was a rather unusual war movie, as it was about sappers/engineers. Thanks for the suggestion! :smile:
 
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  • #65
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Another good WW1 movie, this was a 1928 play about a British unit unknowingly on the schwerpunkt of the German 1918 Operation Michael offensive.

 
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DennisN
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Another good WW1 movie, this was a 1928 play about a British unit unknowingly on the schwerpunkt of the German 1918 Operation Michael offensive.
I will see it. :smile:

I remembered one WW1 movie I saw a long time ago, The Lost Battalion. If I remember correctly I liked it. Trailer:


I still haven't seen Gallipoli, which I think is a rather well-known WW1 movie.
 
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  • #67
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Soviet cavalry was one of the more effective forces in the war. With the vast spaces, poor roads and bad weather, horses could often cover more distance than motorized vehicles. Aside from a few notable instances, such as when cossacks rode down stragglers from the Korsun pocket, according to legend, slicing off the hands of Germans with their hands up in surrender, calvary troops dismounted to fight. Turns out the Soviet general staff had studied the CSA’s use of cavalry in the American Civil War.

Red Sabers: J. E. B. Stuart, Soviet Cavalry Guru
https://www.historynet.com/red-sabers-j-e-b-stuart-soviet-cavalry-guru.htm
 
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  • #68
Drakkith
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December 7th, 1941. A date which will live in infamy...

 
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Part one of a fantastic series of videos on Pearl Harbor by Indy Neidell and the rest of the TimeGhost team:

 
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WWII was several conflicts occuring at the same time in different parts of the world. WWII quickly turned into a war of attrition and both the Germans and Japanese ran into the same problems. Neither could deliver the "knock out blow" required to end their respective parts of the war and both ended up in an attritional wars against countries bigger and more resourceful than they were, there was always only going to be one outcome when those "knock out blows" did not succeed.

I fear nothing has really change on that front. The big / resourceful countries are the ones which make the difference. Other countries can play the "were important and heavy hitters too" card but in reality they would crumble if ones of the big countries started a war with them.

I fear if war broke out again we would see a similar scenario as we did in WWII, after a few years of fighting only a handful of countries would remain.
 
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Aside from a few notable instances, .... calvary troops dismounted to fight.
I imagine they would tether the horses some distance away from the point of contact with the enemy? And there would be soldiers detailed to look after the horses?
 
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I imagine they would tether the horses some distance away from the point of contact with the enemy? And there would be soldiers detailed to look after the horses?
I
yes, this was also how cavalry generally fought in the American Civil War
 
  • #73
Astronuc
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AI colorized and enhanced video of HMS Barham capsizing and suffering a magazine explosion.
Another explosion, but one involving an ammunition supply ship in harbor, not due to enemy action. November 10, 1944. "The ship was simply gone." "The largest piece of the more than 400 ft long vessel that has ever been found was a piece of hull that was some 16 ft by 10 ft." The LCM (landing craft, mechanized) along side were disintegrated. The ship's anchorage had a depth of 19 fathoms (114 ft). The force of the explosion tore a trench in the ocean 1000 ft long by 200 ft wide and between 30 and 40 feet deep.

 
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  • #74
Astronuc
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As I recall the main application of geology I learned about was its value in locating oil reserves.
And minerals and ores.

After a few decades, I came to believe that WWI, which precipitated WWII, was a continuation of ongoing conflicts. European history is rife with such events. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe#19th_century

It appears that the world collectively has still not learned. - war is such a terrible waste.
:frown:
 

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