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100th Anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand...

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by MichaelWinicki, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    One thing I should toss out there, is that a war of some size and magnitude had been building since at least 1870-71 Franco-Prussian war.

    Tension between Germany and France had existed since the time of Napoleon. Germany was militaristic and France felt the need to match Germany when it came to the military. This wasn't limited to land based armies either. Great Britain and Germany were in a race to build newer, bigger and more powerful warships.

    And if that wasn't enough countries were trying to either maintain or add to their list of colonies.

    A war was going to take place. It was just a question of when and how big.
    jobberone likes this.
  2. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    I had a great uncle that fought in the trenches. As a child, I looked forward to his stories. He was injured when a grenade exploded in the foxhole that he shared with four more guys. All of them was killed and my uncle was being loaded on the "dead wagon" and presumed dead when the guy loading him realized he had a faint pulse. He had a large metal plate in his head, but he went on to lead a long, normal life. He told me that the trenches was like a living hell. Mud was knee deep, it was cold and many times they would remain in the same line of trenches for weeks. He said that they would gain ground and in a few days find themselves right back in the same trenches that they were in before when they gave ground. Added to the misery was the constant fear of chemical attack. He had great respect for the German soldiers that he fought against, but I could sense that there was no glory in this type of warfare. It was only the will to survive. He told me several times that he had spent nights in the trenches right next to the dead bodies of his close friends. I can't imagine how a young man in his late teens would feel in that situation. Going from South Alabama to France and finding himself in that situation changed his life. He said that he was still having bad dreams about the war shortly before he died at the age of 84.
  3. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    My grandfather went thru a mustard gas attack in the trenches and, since I'm typing this, evidently survived.
    My great-great aunt was the first nurse across the Atlantic with "Black Jack" Pershing and the AEF (Allied Expeditionary Forces). She only stood a hair under 5', and lived to be 104. My cousins got her story down on tape before she passed. Fascinating!
  4. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    "Gentlemanly" war ended with the Christmas "truce" of 1914.

    All along front, German and (usually) British soldiers informally stopped fighting and met unofficially in "no mans land" between the trenches. Many times these truces ended in the singing of Christmas carols.

    The higher-ups of both sides soon prohibited such a thing happening again.

    And soon after that the whole perspective of war changed forever. Chemical weapons were fair game. The killing of civilians was too.
  5. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Just wanted to make a point about the Ottoman Empire, which died at the end of WWI, after it had side with the Central Powers. The empire's participation in WWI on the Central Power's side was never assured and at one point it was hoped they would join with the Allies, but due to the docking of a German Battle Cruiser Goeben (an interesting story itself) in an Ottoman port, the empire sided with the Central Powers.

    And with the loss of WWI by the Central Powers so to was the official break-up of the Ottoman Empire which had existed for 600 years.

    Imagine that... 600 years.
  6. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting how ignored WW1 has been until just recently. Arguably it caused greater changes to the world then WW2 when it comes right down to it. Since it was the primary cause of the European part of WW2 as well.

    The cynical world began with the end of WW1. Not exactly something that one should be proud of.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Starting in the 1890's when each country started to sigh treaties with others agreeing to go to war if they did then the size of WW1 was made inevitable.

    Germany had been the basic war zone for Europe from the 1400's through the 1600's; and only starting in the 1700's did it unite enough to stop it; and many times the French were involved. So the tension between France and Germany was centuries old. France resented the fact that Germany got strong enough to tell them to stick it; the 1870 war was Napoleon#3's attempt to look better compared to his ancestor. Germany absolutely kicked their butts in that war; and that simmered for the next 40 years and France wanted revenge.

    Add to the rivalry between England and Germany as Germany began to build a real fleet; then throw in the mess in the Balkans (actually when have the Balkans NOT been a mess?)
    And the cheery on top was (1 Austria-Hungary which was having massive internal problems and looked for a war as a way to unite the country; and (2 Russia wanted to show the world that the loss to Japan was just a blip, and THEIR internal problems made the Austria-Hungary ones look like nothing.

    WW1 was absolutely going to happen sooner or later.
  8. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Agreed on the world changes due to WWI as compared to WW2. WWI ended the period of Kings and Empires... Centuries of Kings and Empires. Today it's tough to understand those changes because in many cases it was so radical.

    How many people realize that King George of England was the 1st cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia?

    To me that's just stunning.
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  9. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    So many times, the old timers are ignored. They have lived history. I can sit and talk to them for hours and enjoy every second of it.
    ologan and MichaelWinicki like this.
  10. Seven

    Seven Messenger to the football Gods

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    Best thread in the history of this zone. Period.

    I learned today. Thank you, gentlemen.
  11. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    history has been my hobby for 40 years. I specialize in US History, but am interested in European history as well. ANd so much of that impacted the US and vice versa its hard to separate them the last 300 years.
  12. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    The story of his assassination (or rather, the almost-botched assassination that could have avoided WWI) is just as fascinating. If you're into Podcasts, check out a podcast called Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. He does a series of long-form podcasts on a variety of topics, and his series on WWI is exemplary.
  13. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    most assasination attempts fail. There are probably 100 attempts for every one that succeeds.


    This alternative headline won a contest some years ago



    "Archduke found alive. WW1 fought by mistake!"
  14. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    But as has been said and has been admitted by most competent historians, WW1 was going to happen sooner or later.
  15. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Yep. It had been brewing for decades and was bound to happen.
  16. Seven

    Seven Messenger to the football Gods

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    Thanks for sharing, burm.

    I appreciate it.

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