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Hyacinth1326

The Great Blockade. An alternative if predictable view

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caulkheader

The title you gave to the thread just about 'says it all'.

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

Indeed.  A considerable swathe of history students may be shaping their ideas/values on this foundation.  It's not new but IMO it is disturbing.  The last two lines in particular.  It seems perfidious Albion is on a par with the Nazis and the Turks.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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MikB

I don't see any surprises. War is a hard business, the stakes were high and belligerents would seek to cripple opponents' capability to wage it. There is no point in adding to the emotive language that has already been used because that has equal legitimacy on either side.

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Steven Broomfield

But he is a 'trained historian'.

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

Yes he is a trained historian - so I guess we are outclassed.  And not in my case not for the first time.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

Have you read it ?  It's not the first American book to have taken this viewpoint and it won't be the last. Somewhat selective in its evidence I would observe.

 

Steve 'R' Dunn recently wrote about the blockade in a recent book 'Blockade - Cruiser Warfare and the Starvation of Germany in World War One'  I have not yet read it but it has garnered some excellent reviews.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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PhilB

I haven`t read this book - my prejudices are unsullied. However, it has, to me, all the signs of a "trained historian" who has found a hook and gone looking for a hat to hang on it. He would not be the first IMO.:angry:

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

I just find it deflating that Britain is lobbed into the 5th circle of hell along with Nazi Germany and the Ottoman empire. The book doesn't fully absolve Germany but does tend to give it a free pass on unrestricted submarine warfare.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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voltaire60

A  read-up about the reviewer is interesting. One must remember that reviewers  have no commitment to any standards of impartiality. Most reviews are simply Mr. Angries sounding off their own views, wrapped around what they think at a personal level about a particular book. Often, the journal is the give-away- if the reviewer-now deceased- was that good an historian, why was he not asked to review the book by a more prestigious mainline historical journal.?. An American "professor" (a title doled out very liberally in any American institution)  might have more credibility if,say, the review was in the American Historical Review.

     You just wait for my reviews of some Great War books to turn up in the Neasden Evening Argus..........   That'll be telling you the "truth" :wub:

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David Filsell

I see no problem with the wartime blockade, not least the deployment of U boats was an attempt at blockade. It's continuance after the war is a more vexed question.

As a book reviewer one can of only provide one's own views of the work - a personal opinion of the book. Being  Mr Angry about either subject or author is fair enough in my opinion, but the way such feelings are expressed should always be carefully expressed  - or the reviewer can simply decline writing a review if he/she feels it is real crock.

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

The deployment of U-boats was indeed an attempt at blockade - the policy was implemented too late and there were never sufficient U-boats to facilitate the German blockade before the British introduction of convoy.  Steps to enforce the British Blockade entered AFOs as early as 1910 but the concept had been discussed and policies formulated as early as 1908.  The 1908 plan was not a blockade as such but if forced to do so, the Royal Navy was planning to wage economic warfare against Germany and its allies long before the outbreak of war.  It was hoped to destroy the German economy in a matter of weeks.  For a variety of reasons (mainly the dislocation of allied economies) it was ultimately rejected in favour of the Northern Blockade and deployment of the BEF.  Even this more limited blockade threatened the world economy and to alienate potential allies such as USA and Norway.Sweden was also shuffling towards the German camp  There is a very good book on the subject 'Planning Armageddon' by Nicholas Lambert which is packed with detail. The book describes how the USA continued to trade with neutral countries who in turn sold the goods on to Germany. Just one reason why the Blockade was slow to take effect.  

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

I'm a bit suprised about some of the critical comments mentioned. How many have actually read the book? I haven't, but how can those who use such phrases such as "the title you gave to the thread just about says it all" and  the sarcastic "but he is a 'trained historian" give any force to the debate?

 

The title of the post  is quite clear,  the OP sees it as an"alternative view" and why shouldn't it be? I will repeat, the OP and others and have not read the book but have just  used a brief review to form an opinion.  Historian's, even "trained ones"  do look at different views and use evidence to support or deny them.

 

With regard to blockade and other treaty matters, get hold of a copy of Documents on the Laws of War by Adam Roberts (a Briton) and Richard Guelph (an American).

 

Yes, the blockade did cause Germany serious problems and famine was rife in Germany, particularly in the "turnip winter" of 1916-17, the blockade being part of that, and insofar as a Britain was concerned, was necessary. However, that does not mean that the author of the book mentioned should be criticised by commentators who have not read it.

 

TR

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

'Historian's, even "trained ones"  do look at different views and use evidence to support or deny them'

 

Trust me, they don't always. Committed historians have a tendency to remain steadfastly monocular.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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MikB

Well yes, I'd think you have to read it to pass an opinion, because the review is so heavily partisan. I can't tell from it whether the book author's a trained historian, but I know what I think of the reviewer.

I think historical revisionism is almost always proposed in aid of some current agenda.

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voltaire60
20 hours ago, Terry_Reeves said:

was necessary.

 

     The most important words in anything about who did what in the entire  war

 

"Gentlemen, we are fighting a war of necessity and necessity knows no laws"

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