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ph0ebus

"Why We Should Upset the Germans" - Daily Mail Article

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ph0ebus

Hi all,

Just read this article on my morning commute and wanted to hear others' thoughts about it before I comment:

Why We Should Upset the Germans

-Daniel

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egbert

Hi Daniel, hope you read the comments below the article as well? I think they say more than the article itself. What do you think?

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ph0ebus

Yes, some times the comments say as much or more than the article itself...

Daniel

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peterhogg

Hi Daniel, hope you read the comments below the article as well? I think they say more than the article itself. What do you think?

I get really depressed when I read what some people think..... :(

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David Filsell

Since when was the estimable Hew Strachan a brigadier?

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Terry_Reeves

The Mail has its own promotion system David, as well as a researcher who cannot tell the difference between Professor Strachan and the late Professor (and sometime Brigadier) Richard Holmes.

TR

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healdav

I can't believe it even from a British newspaper. However, there are a few thing that are correct.

Britain and everyone else did lose the war, largely due to the USA going into purdah and refusing to accept that they are part of the same world as everyone else. We wouldn't have had WW2 if the conclusion of WW1 and the attempts to try to prevent it happening again in the League of Nations hadn't been cocked up big time.

For the rest, if the author actually knew any Germans and worked with them as I have for 40 years, they would be talking differently. I have yet to meet a single person who thinks that the whole war wasn't appalling, and they simply don't comprehend how it could have happened.

Oh, and didn't the executed get a pardon? what else do they want now? Resurrection?

I have to agree with the comments about Trafalgar. The French thought it hilarious. Of course, we were taught that it stopped Napoleon invading, when that idea had been given up a couple of years before; but let it pass.

I can say that the Germans (and we are now talking about people born since WW2, let alone WW1) are heartily sick of Britain constantly banging on about the wars. "Why can't the dead bury their dead". I always say that both wars marked the beginning of the end of world domination by Britain (mostly over by 1945). There is nothing else to go on about.

For goodness sake, please just let's have some commemoration of the war and the tragedy, not "Weren't we wonderful in doing down these dastardly foreigners".

Even the son et lumière at Verdun has the last few minutes with the French and Germans holding hands and singing together. I doubt that this can possibly happen in Britain.

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Dragon

Non-British readers need to be aware that dystopian anti-German pieces play well with the Daily Mail reader base. The Reader Comments section gives people for whom the very idea of thinking goes way over their heads a chance to air their prejudices on a public platform. Please don't take the reader comments as representative of British attitudes generally: nobody takes them seriously. The Mail probably has a full-time anti-Germany desk staffed by hacks with a permanently streaming Google search alert on anything to do with Germany and the wars, and photos of the 1966 World Cup Final on the walls.

Gwyn

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Jack Sheldon

Careful chaps. Hew Strachan has collected numerous honours along the way and one is his rank of brigadier with Royal Company of Archers - the Queen's bodyguard in Scotland. Actually he must be one of the younger Archers. Most of them seem to be so decrepit that they need to use their bows as crutches.

Jack

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chrislock

I can't believe it even from a British newspaper. However, there are a few thing that are correct.

Britain and everyone else did lose the war, largely due to the USA going into purdah and refusing to accept that they are part of the same world as everyone else. We wouldn't have had WW2 if the conclusion of WW1 and the attempts to try to prevent it happening again in the League of Nations hadn't been cocked up big time.

For the rest, if the author actually knew any Germans and worked with them as I have for 40 years, they would be talking differently. I have yet to meet a single person who thinks that the whole war wasn't appalling, and they simply don't comprehend how it could have happened.

Oh, and didn't the executed get a pardon? what else do they want now? Resurrection?

I have to agree with the comments about Trafalgar. The French thought it hilarious. Of course, we were taught that it stopped Napoleon invading, when that idea had been given up a couple of years before; but let it pass.

I can say that the Germans (and we are now talking about people born since WW2, let alone WW1) are heartily sick of Britain constantly banging on about the wars. "Why can't the dead bury their dead". I always say that both wars marked the beginning of the end of world domination by Britain (mostly over by 1945). There is nothing else to go on about.

For goodness sake, please just let's have some commemoration of the war and the tragedy, not "Weren't we wonderful in doing down these dastardly foreigners".

Even the son et lumière at Verdun has the last few minutes with the French and Germans holding hands and singing together. I doubt that this can possibly happen in Britain.

I was in Lidice a couple of weeks ago and i think the relatives of the massacred there may not agree with several of your comments. No less than those survivors or the many other relatives still alive today who suffered terribly under the German jack boot and please, no it was not just the SS and Gestapo who carried out these appalling crimes, ask the people of Vinck. Speak to your own nationals who lost their relatives to the forced labour camps etc etc.

It is easy for the European politically correct to say forgive and forget, but not for many of the relatives of the abused and fallen it isn't! No less than the recently inaugurated Bomber Command memorial which so upset the population of Germany!! Did they bleat for us when our cities and towns were bombed?? Of course not. When the going was good fine but when Germany reaped the whirlwind??

We all have our private views and mine is simply my response to your particular pc point of view.

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exuser1

See old Johnny Turk manages to get off scot free again ?

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hazelclark

This "every school child is taught about the war" bit,(or words to that effect) must be new since i went to school, because when I went to school in Britain the subject was not even mentioned, never mind taught. Until a couple of years ago, I knew absolutely NOTHING and when I finally did start reading I thought that Haig was a not very nice man who used my relatives as cannon fodder. I did get one thing right though; the war was started by those baddie imperialist expansionist Germans. Obviously, through continuous reading a slightly better informed opinion is evolving. BUT the fact is that although most of the people with whom i associate would consider themselves to be well educated (they are academically) NOT ONE of them is even remotely interested in WW1. They all say it was awful and should not have happened but NOT ONE has thought about the consequences had Britain and ultimately the US not become involved. Mind you, in the article cited, the guy from Essex brought up a point that the British might empathise with - Brussels in 2013. the bit about "glass houses" is also true.

Having said all that, the Mail article is deliberately inflamatory and helps no one. There is a fine line between telling the truth and causing major rifts with our allies. I wouldn't want to be responsible for walking it.

Hazrl C.

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David Filsell

I've never heard Hew on the Archers Jack

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Stoppage Drill

I get really depressed when I read what some people think..... :(

Sorry.

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Stoppage Drill

Noel Coward wrote "Don't lets be beastly to the Germans after WW2

http://www.songmeani...22107858615981/

Although it was one of Churchills favourites (or perhaps because it was) the BBC banned it.

It was banned because the BBC took it at face value.

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Hedley Malloch

You have to read the (not too) hidden message.

When the Mail runs stories like this, then we know that there is no movement in the index of house prices.

Before we get too carried away on a wave of a Germany which was militaristic and undemocratic, let us remember that the UK was hardly democratic in 1914. Half of the population of the UK did not have vote: women, as well as numbers of adult males.

Let's remember too that our military history in the Middle East, Ireland, Africa and Asia is hardly squeaky clean when it comes to respecting the rights of civilians. We don't have to go back as far as 1914 to find dirt under our Imperial finger-nails. The UK fought to protect the rights of 'plucky little Belgium' a country which by 1914 had effectively enslaved 10 million people in its African colonies. So the Mail needs to be cautious before it plants the Union Jack in the summit of the moral high ground.

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George Armstrong Custer

Let's get past the Mail article which kicked this off - I'm no bloody fan of the rag myself, but the issue at the heart of this is whether or not we accept the pernicious doctrine of moral equivalency in which all sides in all wars are equally perpetrators and victims, with the whole exercise always being one of futility. By virtue of my referencing it as a pernicious doctrine, you can pretty much gather that I reject the argument which seeks to impose a moral equivalency on historical judgements of the combatants of the two world wars. I particularly reject the idea that former foes can only be friends today and put the past behind them if they adopt it.

In a quote from Michael Howard I've already set out on this forum why I think the Great War was widely seen as necessary by the generation which fought it, and frankly it's a convincing argument (find it here:http://1914-1918.inv...=25#entry952365). Imperial Germany wasn't Nazi Germany but you wouldn't have enjoyed living under their hegemony. The British Empire, like all things, wasn't without its flaws but I do get weary of the self-flagellation some seem to get such pleasure in indulging in over an imperial past which was in great part relatively enlightened so far as imperial precedents and contemporary empires went.

There's two kinds of extremes amongst British expats. One sort becomes even more British whilst abroad, and compares everything in the host country unfavourably with Blighty, to the point that you'd forgive the locals for telling them to bugger off back to the UK if it's so great. The other side of the same coin is the Brit ex-pat who sneers at and belittles their homeland, the way of life there, and all who still reside in it. There's two or three with a track record for taking the latter line on this forum, and they've been out to play on this thread, with their talk of the futility of Britain's involvement in the Great War, and how she was morally no better than Imperial Germany, whilst telling us that all is peace and love today between those elements of the French and Germans who believe it was all futile - and they drip contempt for anyone in the UK today who takes a different view from themselves, tarring all who do as some kind of rabid far-right reader of the Daily Mail.

I've no inclination to argue the toss, or attempt to convert the few who have expressed such views here, but simply make the point that there are many who completely reject their doctrine of moral equivalency, which seems to believe that we can only be chums with today's Germany and Japan if we pretend, for example, that RAF Bomber Command were war criminals on a par with the SS or that there was any equivalent behaviour from the British Army after November 1918 to the behaviour of the occupying Germans in France and Belgium between 1914 and that date.

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SteveMarsdin

The UK fought to protect the rights of 'plucky little Belgium' a country which by 1914 had effectively enslaved 10 million people in its African colonies.

Whilst I don't think the barbarities of war are the exclusive provenance of Germany I don't think we do anyone a service by pretending that in a WW1 context the acts committed by some members of the German forces in August 1914 were anything other than atrocities. Whichever armybehaves in such a way deserves to be condemned for those actions.

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ph0ebus

Now that I am off the clock, I can post my own two cents.

Naturally, I have an issue with the tone of the article, but I don't have any particular problem presenting the facts of how horrible the war was, and Germany's historical role in the events in those dark days. I would hope, though, that any efforts at presenting the facts presents the facts for everyone involved, warts and all, and that people then can take that information and formulate their own conclusions.

I also have a big beef with folks who feel the need to visit (and revisit, and re-revisit) the sins of the grandfather upon the sons and grandsons of modern-day Germany. Everyone directly involved is long gone, so let's do the post-mortem, learn our lessons and move forward...together.

-Daniel

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bruce

Why shouldn't we upset the Germans? They started it!

:devilgrin:

Bruce

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ph0ebus

Why shouldn't we upset the Germans? They started it!

:devilgrin:

Bruce

Let's bury the hatchet over a Dobby sandwich...

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SteveMarsdin

I also have a big beef with folks who feel the need to visit (and revisit, and re-revisit) the sins of the grandfather upon the sons and grandsons of modern-day Germany. Everyone directly involved is long gone, so let's do the post-mortem, learn our lessons and move forward...together.

-Daniel

Well put, Daniel. The point I was trying to make was the importance of not air-brushing the atrocities out of history. If they aren't remembered for what they were, rather than for who committed them, then they will be more easily repeated in the future. Unfortunately such acts have been repeated since by other forces so we must try to never forget,to always speak out saying that such actions are inherently wrong, making our voices heard and hopefully preventing future occurrences.

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hazelclark

Most people would agree I hope, that there is a difference between stating facts, and rabble rousing. When I think of the diversity of opinion on this Forum alone, and the fact that some people will make slag heaps out of mole hills ad infinitum (or ad nauseum) i shudder to think what will appear in the next few years. Opinion is one thing,but as someone else said "you can please some of the people some of the time", and I would hate to be in the shoes of those having to make decisions. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I really feel that there is not sufficient general interest in the First War to make the current discussions of more than academic interest, and that is unfortunate, because the views of a few will be given too much credence. I can't see the forthcoming centenery changing the interest levels of many, other than possibly the vague interest in where one's grandfather or great uncle served.

This, for what it is worth is merely an opinion - mine.

Hazel clark

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

... I also have a big beef with folks who feel the need to visit (and revisit, and re-revisit) the sins of the grandfather upon the sons and grandsons of modern-day Germany. ...

Unfortunately you cant get away from the fact that “national traits” are often a reality rather than a fiction to be mocked by small “l” liberals. Here in the British Isles we are cursed with reputations for the English being football hooligans, the Scots being drunks, the Irish being “tic”, and the Welsh being, well, Welsh. To what degree these perceptions are true is debatable of course.

The Germans have, in the recent past, demonstrated an enthusiasm for starting wars which kill millions, and murdering further millions of civilians. I suspect that the German enthusiasm for genocide will be perceived to be a national trait which will linger rather longer than a couple of generations.

Tom

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