100 Years Ago

A Hundred years ago the 28 June was the official end of World War One, the Treaty of Versailles 28Jun1919….

World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. Negotiated among the Allied powers with little participation by Germany, its 15 parts and 440 articles reassigned German boundaries and assigned liability for reparations. After strict enforcement for five years, the French assented to the modification of important provisions. Germany agreed to pay reparations under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, but those plans were cancelled in 1932, and Hitler’s rise to power and subsequent actions rendered moot the remaining terms of the treaty.

The treaty, negotiated between January and June 1919 in Paris, was written by the Allies with almost no participation by the Germans. 

The negotiations revealed a split between the French, who wanted to dismember Germany to make it impossible for it to renew war with France, and the British and Americans, who did not want to create pretexts for a new war. The eventual treaty included 15 parts and 440 articles. Part I created the Covenant of the New League of Nations, which Germany was not allowed to join until 1926. Part II specified Germany’s new boundaries, giving Eupen-Malmedy to Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine back to France, substantial eastern districts to Poland, Memel to Lithuania, and large portions of Schleswig to Denmark. Part III stipulated a demilitarized zone and separated the Saar from Germany for 15 years.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/treaty-of-versailles-1

Were lessons learned by the failure of the Treaty of Versailles?

he peace treaty following the “war to end all wars” was initially thought to be ushering in a never-ending era of peace and international brotherhood, but not all observers thought so: the German Crown Prince Wilhelm, who had fought against Marshal Petain at Verdun and was now exiled in Holland, blasted the victors’ exclusion of the surrendered governments during the Paris discussions begun that January: the very morning of the signing, he flatly predicted in an interview that a new European war was a certainty ten years hence. Meanwhile, John Maynard Keynes, the great British economist who attended the conference as a representative of the British Treasury, was disgusted with the harsh terms meted out by the western allies and resigned his post in late May. Returning to Britain, he wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace that summer, flatly predicting another war with Germany in twenty years

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/06/28/the_right_lessons_from_versailles_100_years_later_114542.html

The Treaty itself was a precursor to the rise of the Nazis….and ultimately the 2nd World War…..so it failed it is main conquest…to prevent war.

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World War One Still Fascinates

Over a century ago the first World War ended….but it still fascinates some….me for one…..not many Americans realize how devastating this war was……some engagements lost 100,000 men…think about that for a moment.

America was late coming to the party, if we can call it a party, we did nt step in until 1917 and the war began in 1914……but why did we finally take the plunge?

There were many reasons but only a few are considered “official”……

The United States played a crucial role in the outcome of World War I and the subsequent peace treaty, however, the country tried very hard to stay neutral throughout most of the conflict which it saw as a European affair. By 1917, Woodrow Wilson’s policy and public opinion changed in favor of the US entry into World War I for the following 5 reasons that are described below.

https://historylists.org/events/5-reasons-for-the-us-entry-into-world-war-i.html

There has been a debate back and forth on whether the US should have entered or just sat it out…..part of the debate…..

Every war is a tragedy, a failure to resolve sharp differences of ideology and interest or to stop evil men before they can impose their will on others. The First World War was one of the most tragic wars in history: Although none of its major protagonists expected or wanted it to occur, it initiated thirty years of bloodletting on an unprecedented scale and planted the seeds for civil conflicts that continue to rage today. Witness the fate of the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the secret pact drawn up in 1916 by diplomats from Britain and France that mashed together Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds in a new nation called Iraq. 

https://newrepublic.com/article/118435/world-war-i-debate-should-us-have-entered

Then there was World War Two and how the end of World War One was the leading cause of the devastation of World War Two……the crippling conditions imposed on Germany by the Allies were more than the nation could shoulder and thus the beginnings….

WWI ended with Germany signing the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was forced to sign this treaty, because if they did not sign the treaty, then they would be attacked. There was essentially no compromising. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles focused on Germany itself, and not the other countries that were fighting on Germany’s side. Germany got the most punishment because they were the third man in to this war. If Germany had not joined WWI the war could have been a war between just Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Germany joining the war brought several other countries into the war, and made it into a full World War. There were mant terms of the Treaty of Versailles. One of these terms was that Germany had to pay for all of the damage that was caused by the war, evem if it was not their fault. Another term of the Treaty of Versailles was that Germany could have only 100,000 people in their army, and could have almost no Navy or Airforce. This would make it very hard to deend themselves if there were to be another war. Germany also lost land in this treaty, and the League of Nations was set up due to the treaty also. All of these terms led to a very poor economy in Germany, and led to overall chaos.

A fascinating paper…….http://www.markedbyteachers.com/as-and-a-level/history/world-war-i-could-it-have-been-avoided.html

Then came World War Two

…….some of the causes are showing up in today’s world…..A little something to think about on a Spring day.

Lawrence Of Arabia

I just watched a great movie (even though it is not historically accurate)….Lawrence of Arabia (1962) starring Peter O’Toole, who was exceptional as Lawrence…..

The movie was about the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918….it was lead by British intel officer T.E. Lawrence (BTW he was not as popular in the Middle East as the movie would have you believe)…..this movie gave me an interest in the Middle East and World War One that lead to my degrees I got from university……for that I thank Lawrence even if he was a d/bag……

Yes Irene it is time for that history lesson you all dread……

The Arab Revolt of 1916-18 was a major episode of WW1 and, due to the subsequent fame of T.E. Lawrence (“of Arabia”), it has enjoyed a level of public and scholarly attention that continues to this day. The Arab Revolt had its origins in pre-war contacts between the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein ibn Ali, leader of the Hashemite faction, and British authorities in Cairo. The Hejaz region of Arabia (in modern-day Saudi Arabia) had been under Ottoman control since the sixteenth century but Hussein recognised that the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) or “Young Turk” government was focused on extending its control throughout the Ottoman provinces.[i] The immediate pre-war years saw a crackdown on dissenters in Syria and Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and this forced Hussein’s hand. In 1914, he made overtures to GHQ in Cairo in order to gauge possible British support for a future revolt.[ii] In the months following the outbreak of war in 1914, a steady supply of small arms and money was ferried across the Red Sea by the Royal Navy and landed on the Arabian coast.[iii]

By 1916, it seemed that Cemel Pasha, governor of Syria and commander of the Ottoman 4th Army was about to act against the Hashemites and their supporters. The Sharif felt that the moment had come to instigate the revolt and with his sons (the Emirs Ali, Abdullah, Feisal and Zeid) he rallied tribesmen to his cause during the summer months. On 5 June 1916, the Emirs Ali and Feisal informed the Turkish commander at Medina, General Fakhri Pasha, of the Arabs’ intention to withdraw from the Ottoman Empire. An attack on Medina was repulsed and the Arabs refocused their efforts to begin attacks on the strategically important Hejaz Railway. On 10 June, Sharif Abdullah proclaimed the revolt in Mecca and further attacks occurred on Ottoman garrisons at Ta’if and Jiddah. The Arab Revolt was truly underway.[iv]

 
Or if you are too busy to read then maybe this video will help understand the incident……
 
 
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Ever Hear Of The “Harlem Hellfighters”?

Sunday and I must get off my butt and start getting the garden ready for the crops of the year…..but before that I need to offer up another history lesson….(I hear those heavy sighs)…..

I have been writing and trying to get more Americans to pay attention to World War One……it was century ago and while American troops were only there for about a year and actually fought for about 6 months we still lost about 116,000 troops……in case you cannot feel the size of that…we lost 53,000 in Vietnam in ten years….

There were and are many stories of the units that fought in this war and one of those units is the Harlem Hellfighters……

A century ago, on Feb. 17, 1919, the US Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment, nearly 3,000 African American soldiers and known as the Harlem Hellfighters, returned from World War I and marched up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan before hundreds of thousands of cheering New Yorkers. The Harlem Hellfighters weren’t supposed to be heroes, but they were among the “hyphenated” troops whose accomplishments demonstrate that the United States’ asymmetric advantage, in war as well as in peace, is diversity.

The 369th Infantry Regiment was part of the Army’s Rainbow Division, 27,000 troops from across the country quickly mustered after the US entered World War I in April 1917. Most of the division shipped out to Europe in August of that year; the Hellfighters didn’t arrive in France until late December. They had not been allowed to march off to war with the rest of their Rainbow Division because “black is not a color of the rainbow.”

American military leaders expected the troops of the 369th to be terrible soldiers. Like most black recruits in World War I, they weren’t intended to fight but to be manual laborers at the front. They were issued inferior uniforms and weapons, and then, in an emergency, they were transferred to the French army, whose officers were explicitly told to treat them as second-class soldiers.

Despite the discrimination and the disadvantages, the men of the 369th became one of the war’s most decorated and celebrated units.

Read the full piece in the Los Angeles Times.

That is my offerings for the day……

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Have a great day……I shall be back in full force come Monday…..

Oh World War One

For the past few years IST has been posting on the 100 year anniversary of World War One. the Great War……as a student of conflict I am fascinating about the causes and results of a war that cost so many lives and has no match in carnage….

The question has been asked many times…..what lessons were learned from that war?

The past weeks should have been a remarkable occasion to reflect on history, on the magnitude, costs, and legacy of what was once commonly known as the Great War, the most cataclysmic single war in Western history ever up until that point or at least since the fall of Rome and easily one of the worst and most lethal in world history.

And yet reflection on the war and its horrific costs and legacies has been woefully lacking. Whether it was due to questionable political and behavioral decisions during centenary commemorations that overshadowed the remembrances, a news media that sorely lacks competency in this type of historical examination, or a combination of reasons, something vital was missing: sober reflection that takes a measure of history, of its impact on the present and potential effects on the future, and on the many millions of lives cut short in conditions few of us could even imagine, let alone endure.

Indeed, it is hard to say which is most stunning: the incredible impact that four measly years in the span of human history had on the world one-hundred years ago, the impact it is still having and will continue to have, the incredible toll of lives lost (around some 16.5 million dead—about half military, half civilian—by some solid estimates, surpassed only by the next, and, we may hope, last, World War that followed just a few decades later), or the utter lack of general awareness today of all of these things.

https://mwi.usma.edu/urgent-lessons-world-war/

I found a good series of videos about the conspiracy of WW1……..

Part One……

Part Two……

Part Three……

It still amazes me at the destruction and death that this conflict produced…..

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The US And World War One

November 2018 was the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War One….a war that claimed millions of lives on all sides…a war that introduced the world to such weapons as poison gas, tanks, flame throwers, machine guns, and the airplane…..and this war changed everything in the world…..

David Stockman has written a series on the US and World War One…..the three parts are truly worth the read…..his staements I find my self in full agreement……

Read part 1 and part 2

The Great European War posed no national security threat whatsoever to the US. And that presumes, of course, the danger was not the Entente powers – but Germany and its allies.

From the very beginning, however, there was no chance at all that Germany and its bedraggled allies could threaten America – and that had become overwhelmingly true by April 1917 when Wilson launched America into war.

In fact, within a few weeks, after Berlin’s Schlieffen Plan offensive failed on September 11, 1914, the German Army became incarcerated in a bloody, bankrupting, two-front land war. That ensured its inexorable demise and utter incapacity in terms of finances and manpower to even glance cross-eyed at America on the distant side of the Atlantic moat.

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/11/16/wilsons-great-war/

But wait this is Part 4 of David Stockman’s series…..

When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later as Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the red army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

As we have seen, the world had descended into what was in effect an unbroken global war, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. The “77 Years War” is the appropriate name for it.

If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations which germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into the second world war and cold war which followed inexorably thereupon.

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/11/19/still-no-peace-on-earth/

Then Armistice Day (Veterans Day) is just a holiday anymore…..the meaning has NO bearing today and we Americans could care less as ling as we get a day off…….

Armistice Day in these United States was established by Congressional resolution in 1926, as a day of ‘thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.’ It was elevated to a national holiday in 1938, when perpetuating peace still seemed like a good idea to many members of Congress. Sixteen years and two wars later, this occasion for somber and pacific reflection was restyled ‘Veterans Day.’

https://spectator.us/farewell-armistice-veterans-day/

The US learned nothing from their losses in World War One….what the nation learned was that there was obscene profits in providing weapons to the warring partners.

“Making American Great Again”–Part 22

Maj. Sjursen has taken the readers through the pages of American history…history that is not widely taught by our public schools and definitely not by the private schools that teach the history that fits a narrative…..

We have gone from the early days to the Revolution to the founding of the republic through the trials and tribulations of being a young country on the world stage….and now Sjursen takes us to World War One and the peace that followed……

Part 22 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

“Over there, over there, /  Send the word, send the word over there. /  That the Yanks are coming, /  the Yanks are coming … /  We’ll be over, we’re coming over, /  And we won’t come back till it’s over, over there.” —An excerpt from George M. Cohan’s song “Over There”

America wasn’t supposed to get in the war. When the country finally did, it was to be a war “to end all wars,” to “make the world safe for democracy,” one in which, for once, the Allies would seek “peace without victory.” How powerful was the romantic and idealistic rhetoric of Woodrow Wilson, America’s historian and political scientist turned president. None of that came to pass, of course. No, just less than three years after the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, the working classes of the United States would join those of Europe in a grinding, gruesome, attritional fight to the finish. In the end, some 116,000 Americans would die alongside about 9 million soldiers from the other belligerent nations.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-a-savage-war-to-end-all-wars-and-its-failed-peace/

This is the latest episode in Sjursen American history series…..I will no longer be posting daily but rather as the newest part is available….and if you have been slow on the uptick on this series then this will help the reader get caught up……

See: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10; Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21.

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