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Guest Jemmy Button

Great Video/presentation About Britain's Role In Ww1

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Britain wanted the status quo. Others didn't. There was a clash.

I've read a lot of theories about why WW1 happened. It's complicated, and there are a large number of contributing factors, not a single Reason really responsible.

One of the more convincing and certainly pivotal characters was the Austrian general Conrad von Hotzendorf. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was riven by nationalism and in the process of disintegrating even in 1914, and it was felt by some that a war to "unify the nation" would be just the ticket. Conrad was chief of staff at the time and he was absolutely in favour of hitting Serbia hard. It was the Austrians who nagged Germany for backup, they really were the prime instigator of it all, and therefore Conrad seems like a pretty major figure to blame.

There is remarkably little focus on the the Central Powers of WW1 in the literature that I've read, and even less on Austria. Presumably because we are quite chauvinistic in our history, but we were not the sole actor or even the principal actor. Personally I lend weight to the ones who formally got the ball rolling! People like Conrad.

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It was all about keeping India...

No sh*t.

Of course, Britain wanted to hang onto its Empire.

It does not explain why the rest of Europe started shooting at each other.

Britain was actually more or less the last great power to join the network of European alliances that led to war in 1914. It was also one of the last to mobilise.

In fact the 'Great European' war started in eastern Europe as Bismarck had predicted.

It is amazing that 50 years ago the BBC could explain the process so brilliantly in its series on the Great War yet 90% of the recent documentaries or discussions on the subject are tendentious crap.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fXhiagFG8KE

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cqW1cH_q0EQ

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Guest Jemmy Button

Hae

No sh*t.

Of course, Britain wanted to hang onto its Empire.

It does not explain why the rest of Europe started shooting at each other.

Britain was actually more or less the last great power to join the network of European alliances that led to war in 1914. It was also one of the last to mobilise.

In fact the 'Great European' war started in eastern Europe as Bismarck had predicted.

It is amazing that 50 years ago the BBC could explain the process so brilliantly in its series on the Great War yet 90% of the recent documentaries or discussions on the subject are tendentious crap.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cqW1cH_q0EQ

Have you actually watched this video? It's about 2 hours long! And I wouldn't give much credence to what the BBC tell you - they'll say anything!

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Hae

Have you actually watched this video? It's about 2 hours long! And I wouldn't give much credence to what the BBC tell you - they'll say anything!

I skimmed. I'm wasn't hugely impressed. Trying to overturn the German guilt and British heroism thing? Okay, I agree with that. But it's a pretty big hatchet job that goes far beyond even handedness.

The map of countries Britain invaded is relevant to WW1... how exactly? Quoting George Orwell is, how exactly?

History is sorta my hobby, so I read a lot about it, I don't have to rely on the BBC to form an opinion. Like I said. The Central Powers started WW1, not Britain. Britain was loitering on the sidelines wondering how best to defend her own interests in a 100% selfish way, which is kinda what I would expect. In fact, I expect and almost demand that of HMG even today. Her interests were, obviously, imperialist ones as the empire was still a going concern at the time.

But he spends a hell of a lot of time talking about Sikhs in jail and almost no time on people like Conrad, which makes me highly dubious. He even touches on Lenin, at length, who was not a going concern in 1914. Lenin's opinion would be pretty much irrelevant, and I don't think the satanists in London managed to conspire to get Austria to invade Serbia, that was probably beyond their power. As for Britain supporting the Bolsheviks, their intervention on the White side in the civil war is a very odd way to show that.

What would impress me is a historian who focused on someone other than Britain. Like I said, Britain was one of many powers involved and not even close to being the prime mover for much of it. Remember the 'contemptible little army' that Britain had and the widespread belief that the war would be quick, like in 1870. We weren't the Puppetmaster, we were practically ignored by the Central Powers at first.

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Guest Jemmy Button

I skimmed. I'm wasn't hugely impressed. Trying to overturn the German guilt and British heroism thing? Okay, I agree with that. But it's a pretty big hatchet job that goes far beyond even handedness.

The map of countries Britain invaded is relevant to WW1... how exactly? Quoting George Orwell is, how exactly?

History is sorta my hobby, so I read a lot about it, I don't have to rely on the BBC to form an opinion. Like I said. The Central Powers started WW1, not Britain. Britain was loitering on the sidelines wondering how best to defend her own interests in a 100% selfish way, which is kinda what I would expect. In fact, I expect and almost demand that of HMG even today. Her interests were, obviously, imperialist ones as the empire was still a going concern at the time.

But he spends a hell of a lot of time talking about Sikhs in jail and almost no time on people like Conrad, which makes me highly dubious. He even touches on Lenin, at length, who was not a going concern in 1914. Lenin's opinion would be pretty much irrelevant, and I don't think the satanists in London managed to conspire to get Austria to invade Serbia, that was probably beyond their power. As for Britain supporting the Bolsheviks, their intervention on the White side in the civil war is a very odd way to show that.

What would impress me is a historian who focused on someone other than Britain. Like I said, Britain was one of many powers involved and not even close to being the prime mover for much of it. Remember the 'contemptible little army' that Britain had and the widespread belief that the war would be quick, like in 1870. We weren't the Puppetmaster, we were practically ignored by the Central Powers at first.

The bigger picture I get from watching this video is that, ultimately, a lot of high heeled English aristocratic families played a lovely game of chess and drank Pimm's, whilst a sizeable amount of the British populace got murdered. War is a lovely thing isn't it when you don't have to fight...

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The bigger picture I get from watching this video is that, ultimately, a lot of high heeled English aristocratic families played a lovely game of chess and drank Pimm's, whilst a sizeable amount of the British populace got murdered. War is a lovely thing isn't it when you don't have to fight...

I don't think you were allowed in the Army if you wore high heels. Either gender.

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Guest Jemmy Button

And, just like it alluded to in the video, the isolation of Russia - like in pre 1914 is again taking place right in front of our eyes. That's why I see all this Ukrainian western media EU/USA involvement as utter hypocritical horse manure.

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I don't think you were allowed in the Army if you wore high heels. Either gender.

Really? Gosh, thanks for letting me know! :) Award yourself a good old masturbatory 'waxing of the carrot'...

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The bigger picture I get from watching this video is that, ultimately, a lot of high heeled English aristocratic families played a lovely game of chess and drank Pimm's, whilst a sizeable amount of the British populace got murdered. War is a lovely thing isn't it when you don't have to fight...

True of any war. The leaders lead, the PBI get killed.

But I find a class based analysis of WW1 to be highly contrived, suited to modern sensibilities that have more to do with Blackadder (which while I love it dearly, is as far as the history is concerned complete BS) then what actually happened. For starters a lot of people volunteered, and they volunteered at first due to Imperial German atrocities in Belgium. Also they volunteered in far off colonies like Australia and Canada (Canadian troops were massively important in WW1, and they didn't have conscription at all, not a single Canadian conscript fought). Hard to believe, but people in 1914 thought they were fighting a just war and they were ready to do their bit. Hard to believe in 2014 because patriotism is a dirty word now, but it wasn't then. It's a dirty word now precisely because of what happened then.

The BEF was unusual in that it didn't collapse into communism and rebellion. The French army did after Nivelle. The German army and especially navy did in 1918. The Russians did. Austria was torn apart by nationalists. The BEF soldiered on.

Aristos? I dont think so. Lloyd George secretly wanted to end the war in 1917 but he couldn't because he would've been promptly lynched if he had. He had to make do with trying to reduce the body count by various backroom shenanigans. It was a popular war.

The teasipping aristos playing chess, I find it a bit of a joke, frankly. And it's hardly a "daring" point of view on the war. It actually seems to be what most people really think.

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Hae

Have you actually watched this video? It's about 2 hours long! And I wouldn't give much credence to what the BBC tell you - they'll say anything!

It is of a piece with so much a agit prop history.

First the author constructs a thesis then goes in search of 'evidence' to support it ignoring everything else.

No one denies that the Great War was a clash of European imperial powers or that India was a crucial economic element in Britain's Empire.

Those facts do not mean the Britain 'caused' the First World War.

In fact as the global hegemonic power it had most to lose from the conflict as subsequent events proved

One simply cannot ignore the lingering animosities from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 or German fears about the potential of Russia to outstrip it economically and militarily as significant factors leading to conflict. Similarly the decay of the Ottoman Empire and reckless Austro-Hungarian foreign policy in trying to benefit territorially from that process must take a central place in explaining the events that triggered the catastrophe.

The superb BBC series on the Great War made in 1964 was 26 hours long and included contributions from many noted historians such a John Terraine, Corelli Barnett and Alistair Horne. It is a little old fashioned in places and perhaps slightly Euro centric in its account of the conflict but it does cover most of the major features and campaigns of the conflict and is way, way more balanced than the video you posted. Why don't you watch it.

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Guest Jemmy Button

Does anybody think that, from watching the video, that we are being softened up into World War 3? That we are making the same mistakes? The same families making the same decisions. I'm asking now because, quite frankly, I have the distinct impression that none of us/children/family will be alive in the next 10 years. House prices will be the least of our concerns.

It is of a piece with so much a agit prop history.

First the author constructs a thesis then goes in search of 'evidence' to support it ignoring everything else.

No one denies that the Great War was a clash of European imperial powers or that India was a crucial economic element in Britain's Empire.

Those facts do not mean the Britain 'caused' the First World War.

In fact as the global hegemonic power it had most to lose from the conflict as subsequent events proved

One simply cannot ignore the lingering animosities from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 or German fears about the potential of Russia to outstrip it economically and militarily as significant factors leading to conflict. Similarly the decay of the Ottoman Empire and reckless Austro-Hungarian foreign policy in trying to benefit territorially from that process must take a central place in explaining the events that triggered the catastrophe.

The superb BBC series on the Great War made in 1964 was 26 hours long and included contributions from many noted historians such a John Terraine, Corelli Barnett and Alistair Horne. It is a little old fashioned in places and perhaps slightly Euro centric in its account of the conflict but it does cover most of the major features and campaigns of the conflict and is way, way more balanced than the video you posted. Why don't you watch it.

From the BBC? Are you sane? I don't believe anything that the MSM tells me anymore...

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Have a read of this one if you have an interest, fascinating, written by a German guy.

http://www.amazon.com/The-First-World-War-Austria-Hungary/dp/0340573481

Problem with most history books in English is the highly Anglocentric nature of them. It's pretty hard finding a book in English about WW1 that doesn't focus inordinately on Western Front Tommies - and WW1 was a hell of a lot bigger than that.

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Guest Jemmy Button

True of any war. The leaders lead, the PBI get killed.

But I find a class based analysis of WW1 to be highly contrived, suited to modern sensibilities that have more to do with Blackadder (which while I love it dearly, is as far as the history is concerned complete BS) then what actually happened. For starters a lot of people volunteered, and they volunteered at first due to Imperial German atrocities in Belgium. Also they volunteered in far off colonies like Australia and Canada (Canadian troops were massively important in WW1, and they didn't have conscription at all, not a single Canadian conscript fought). Hard to believe, but people in 1914 thought they were fighting a just war and they were ready to do their bit. Hard to believe in 2014 because patriotism is a dirty word now, but it wasn't then. It's a dirty word now precisely because of what happened then.

The BEF was unusual in that it didn't collapse into communism and rebellion. The French army did after Nivelle. The German army and especially navy did in 1918. The Russians did. Austria was torn apart by nationalists. The BEF soldiered on.

Aristos? I dont think so. Lloyd George secretly wanted to end the war in 1917 but he couldn't because he would've been promptly lynched if he had. He had to make do with trying to reduce the body count by various backroom shenanigans. It was a popular war.

The teasipping aristos playing chess, I find it a bit of a joke, frankly. And it's hardly a "daring" point of view on the war. It actually seems to be what most people really think.

Yeah, yeah...if you want to believe that crap, then be my guest.

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Really? Gosh, thanks for letting me know! :) Award yourself a good old masturbatory 'waxing of the carrot'...

:lol:

Wait, what? What's with all the ellipses? You don't have to be a ****** to find your "high heeled" Freudian slip amusing... but it probably helps.

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Does anybody think that, from watching the video, that we are being softened up into World War 3? That we are making the same mistakes? The same families making the same decisions. I'm asking now because, quite frankly, I have the distinct impression that none of us/children/family will be alive in the next 10 years. House prices will be the least of our concerns.

Not in the nuclear age, no.

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Yeah, yeah...if you want to believe that crap, then be my guest.

There's not many beliefs there, lots of historical facts though.

Stop watching shit on the internet and read some books? Read some books by non-Brits if you're that paranoid.

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Guest Jemmy Button

There's not many beliefs there, lots of historical facts though.

Stop watching shit on the internet and read some books? Read some books by non-Brits if you're that paranoid.

Whoops! Apologies EUBanana for my disparaging last post to you! No offence to you. I will certainly check out the German guys book. It's not so much that I'm paranoid, it's just that I want to know the truth why my Grandfather and 3 great Uncles died in that war. I would find solace in knowing their deaths were borne from a noble cause. The thing is, I don't believe they died for a noble cause. I believe their deaths were just part of one big lie.

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Whoops! Apologies EUBanana for my disparaging last post to you! No offence to you. I will certainly check out the German guys book. It's not so much that I'm paranoid, it's just that I want to know the truth why my Grandfather and 3 great Uncles died in that war. I would find solace in knowing their deaths were borne from a noble cause. The thing is, I don't believe they died for a noble cause. I believe their deaths were just part of one big lie.

Alright, cool. Sorry for being prickly. :)

I don't think it was a big lie, I certainly think it was essentially an accident though. Nobody who had a say in what was going to happen anticipated trench warfare, except for Kitchener maybe. It's easy to say with hindsight but at the time people really thought it was going to be quick, largely. And their tactics were totally at odds with reality, look at Foch and the cult of the attack. Also I think Britain's plan was never to get fully stuck in, but do something ilke the Americans ended up doing, and doing again in WW2 - limiting their own butchers bill while getting a major say in the outcome. However by 1916 the French were desperate and demanding Britain contribute on the Western Front, and Britain didn't really have a choice. We were in coalition warfare, and we weren't even the senior partner in the coalition really, France contributed far more troops than we did. Britain's contribution didn't really come into it's own until 1917/18 when we got some competent generals like Herbert Plumer, and new ideas were starting to be put into practice.

Lloyd George privately at least was horrified by what was going on I think, but if you put yourself in his shoes in 1916 what are you going to do. By then the war had taken on a life of its own. He couldn't quit then, it would have meant the millions of casualties already taken would've been for nothing. He would've been immediately out on his ear if he turned into a peacenik. He was also highly dubious about the abilities of his generals, so it's not like nobody was questioning the antics of Douglas Haig and people like Gough and Hunter-Weston.

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This book is really good too, and a bit different from the usual dry histories.

http://www.amazon.com/1918-LAST-Sword-Military-Classics/dp/0850529743

It's still a factual history book, but it's a bit rip roaring in comparison to the usual fare, and the author is a bit of a wordsmith. It really tells the story well. Starts out with an attack on New Years Eve in 1917, which is a sort of stage setting for how things will change from that awful pattern in the months to come.

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