Author Topic: World War I - Reassessing the Blame  (Read 60163 times)

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Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2013, 04:56:08 PM »
The governor of Sarajevo (can't recall his name right now, but Greg and Susan mention him in their book about the assassination of the Archduke) is also to blame.  Either this guy was in on the plot, or he was the most incompetent moron that ever walked the planet.  "Extra security, nah, we don't need them."  He knew, or at least suspected, a plot was underway, yet he never beefed up security.  Duhhhhhhh!!

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Offline edubs31

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2013, 12:19:52 AM »
The governor of Sarajevo (can't recall his name right now, but Greg and Susan mention him in their book about the assassination of the Archduke) is also to blame.  Either this guy was in on the plot, or he was the most incompetent moron that ever walked the planet.  "Extra security, nah, we don't need them."  He knew, or at least suspected, a plot was underway, yet he never beefed up security.  Duhhhhhhh!!

I don't necessarily disagree, but what's amazing Tim is that even after all of the screw ups and miscalculations, it all came down to a wrong turn and an assassin who just happened to be walking out of a deli literally right in front of where their vehicle stalled! I mean, come on, if that's no fate I don't know what is!
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Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2013, 12:02:47 PM »
So Princip just might have gotten lucky the same way Lee Harvey Oswald would in Dallas, nearly fifty years later.  Just being at the right place at the right time.
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Offline edubs31

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2013, 04:31:48 PM »
Oswald actually had to do something, like connect with a pair of shots from high atop the book depository. Princip's Black Hand crew failed on their first attemp to get the Archduke on his parade route and found him sitting in his lap the next go round. It's the epitome of luck, or fate. The kid who closes his eyes in the outfield and the ball that miraculously lands in his outstretched glove...
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2013, 12:05:46 PM »
Quote
Oswald actually had to do something, like connect with a pair of shots from high atop the book depository.

Yes, but the fact that he pulled it off shows that fate connection again.  Had Oswald been delayed by as much as a minute, he would have missed his window of opportunity and history would have taken a different course.  Looking at it this way, I can see why many prefer to say it was a huge conspiracy, rather than just plain dumb luck for a nut with a gun.

Sometimes these psychos just have plain dumb luck, thanks to fate.  Princip had it in 1914, Oswald had it in 1963.
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Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2013, 12:05:12 PM »
Is it just me, or has World War I been greatly overshadowed by World War II? 

I can see why, WWII lasted longer, it involved a lot more countries, and there is the Holocaust as well.   Given all that, it's easy to see why WWII is better remembered (and there are still survivors of that was, even thought their numbers are now dwindling).

Still, WWI should be better remembered.  Heck, if it weren't for WWI, there probably would have been no WWII. Sad irony here.
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Offline edubs31

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2013, 03:43:23 PM »
I think you sort of answered your question here Tim. It's not that World War I has been forgotten so much as it has been overshadowed.

One of the reasons for this you didn't mention is because it's easier for people to identify with the obvious good (Allies) vs evil (Axis) quality of the Second World War, whereas that is so much harder to define with the Great War that preceded. Both wars were awful merciless affairs, but one Pt. 2 makes for a much better story and conclusion.

This very topic devoted to (re)assessing the blame is a perfect example of that. No one needs to ask the question of who deserves the most blame for WW2, but it's a topic we continue to argue to this day when talking about WW1.
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Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2013, 04:20:12 PM »
Quote
One of the reasons for this you didn't mention is because it's easier for people to identify with the obvious good (Allies) vs evil (Axis) quality of the Second World War, whereas that is so much harder to define with the Great War that preceded. Both wars were awful merciless affairs, but one Pt. 2 makes for a much better story and conclusion.


Yeah, there were no "bad guys" in the First World War.  Imperial Germany may have been an autocracy, but it was nowhere near as brutal as the Nazi Regime.  The Imperial Germans didn't round people up and march them off to death camps to be murdered.

The only horrible atrocity of WWI I can think of is the Armenian Genocide that the Ottoman Turks did in 1915.  It is sad to note that even to this day, Turkey will not own up to this crime.  Both Germany and Japan have owned up to what they did in WWII, so why won't Turkey to a crime that happened nearly a century ago now.  Why?  Anyone involved is long since dead.
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Offline Превед

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2013, 04:34:05 PM »
Imperial Germany may have been an autocracy
Only in the delusional mind of Wilhelm II.
You can't really call the German Empire an autocracy. Remember that there was universal male suffrage on the federal level from the beginning in 1871. (Actually from 1867 in the North German Federation.) Decades before Britain had universal male suffrage. Of course the executive branch (the Kaiser and his government) was not elected, unlike the US President, but just like the US the German Empire did not have a parliamentary system, there was strict separation of powers. Thus it was prone to the same dead-end blocks and conflicts between the executive and legislative branches that we see in the US right now. Still, the government got a majority, including all the previously pacifist Social Democrat Reichstag members, to vote for the war credits in August 1914.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 04:40:20 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
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Как речь безмолвная могилы,
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(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2013, 04:37:14 PM »
Yes, but my point was that, no matter how flawed the Kaiser's regime was, it was not a brutal dictatorship like Hitler's was.  So the Germans of WWI didn't get the "bad guys" label the Germans of WWII did.
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Offline Превед

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2013, 04:46:07 PM »
Yes, but my point was that, no matter how flawed the Kaiser's regime was, it was not a brutal dictatorship like Hitler's was.  So the Germans of WWI didn't get the "bad guys" label the Germans of WWII did.

Of course, but it's rather misleading to constantly throw around the word "autocracy" in connection with the German Empire. One can argue that it was an oligarchy and an emerging democracy (at a swift pace) with strict separation of powers, but certainly not an autocracy. If nothing else, the very nature of its federal basis denies it.

In the period 1870-1901, you would be much more correct in describing Christian IX's Denmark, when the King's cabinet ruled through executive decrees because of a deadlock between the two chambers of parliament, as an autocracy, than the German Empire in that period.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 04:51:51 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline TimM

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2013, 04:50:56 PM »
Well, it wasn't a democracy like Britain was.
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Offline Превед

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2013, 05:03:09 PM »
Well, it wasn't a democracy like Britain was.

Quite apart from the issue of female suffrage, millions of men (sent out to die for king and fatherland) did not have the right to vote in Britain in 1914. General suffrage (for all men and for women over 30) did not come untill 1918, as a direct result of the war. The Wikipedia article on the Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918 concludes with: "The available figures suggest that the 1885-1918 electorate comprised about sixty percent of the adult male population."

In the German Empire there was general male suffrage on the federal level from 1870. On the state level, it varied widely, from quite democratic in many smaller and southern states, to the infamous three-class franchise in Prussia and Saxony. (Which despite its obviously plutocratic nature ensured a general male suffrage and a nascent democracy.) So Germany was both more democratic than Britain on one level and more reactionary on another level.

Interestingly this made the Labour Party / SPD a huge fraction in the German Imperial Diet, while the Prussian House of Representatives followed a much more British pattern, which conservatives and liberals being the biggest groups, and a small socialist fraction.

Both Britain and Germany shared a dual-chamber system with unelected upper chambers which still wielded real power.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 05:32:54 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2013, 05:44:07 PM »
I would describe both Germany and Britain as limited, emerging but working democracies in 1914. (And Russia as a nascent democracy in the making dominated by an autocracy, similar to the Prussian experience.) With hindsight it's easy to say that Britain was more of a democracy in 1914 and it certainly was more of a parliamentary democracy than Germany, but contemporaries might have seen Germany as just as democractic. Especially in light of the prevailing view of democracy as the barbaric rule of plebeian parties - Germany having a 110 man strong Socialist fraction in its 400 member parliament! Yes, Socialists, as in the dreaded bogeymen of the bourgeoisie! If Germany had been an autocracy the autocrat would have shut down this public disgrace called the Reichstag (like the more reactionary elements of his entourage desired) la the Russian Duma Coup in 1907 and not be dependant upon it for financing the war!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 06:09:17 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: World War I - Reassessing the Blame
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2013, 06:46:26 PM »
Errata to reply 30 The governor of the provence was General Oscar Potiorek. After WW I started he was put in command of the Austrian force that invaded Serbia In spite of the fact he had never commanded a force larger than a division. To say the 2 or 3 depending on the source 1914 Austrian invasions were failures is putting it mildly. The word moron is a good word to describe him.