World War I Finally Over!

Discussion in 'World War I' started by davparlr, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I didn't realize that they were still paying for WWI. Amazing.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    This actually happened a few months ago. Amazing how long they were having to pay it off. It shows how absurd the amount was.
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Am no great fan of the Versailles Treaty but that article was pretty skewed. And it managed to go all over the place.

    But it's good to see that part is done.
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Remarkable to think that it has only just been paid off even if it was a couple of months ago.
     
  6. Feris

    Feris New Member

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    Yes guys,
    germany plays a vital role in the world War, so they are paying for this..
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    They did? Wasn't aware of that. I just have to say that I'm glad we had the War to end all Wars or things would be a mess today.
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    WWI was the last of the imperial wars, it was not quite the same as WWII, in that WWII was a war anchored in racism and the denial of basic liberties. Imperial germany was, generally, not guilty of the same heinous crimes as their successors the nazis.

    And it is hard to justify the massive size of the reparations bill, thats for sure. The unequal peace was a factor in the rise of the nazis

    However, this article is extremely biased and pro-german in the extreme. It tries to paint germany as the nnocent victim in all of this. germany was anything but an innocent victim. they were an agressor nation, attempting to subjugate its neighbours. It losts its bid for European domination, and paid a price for that.

    Wars should not be entered into lightly. people get killed in wars. imperial germany was responsible for the death of millions of people. if they had not been so ambitious in their plans to dominate Europe, the war would never have arisen. Whilst it is unreasonable to level the same indictments against imperial germany as can be levelled against Nazi germany, they still are guilty of certain lesser crimes, namely the crime of waging an agressive war.

    We should forgive the german people. they paid a very heavy price for their mistakes. But we should never forget what happened, and why, and who was the main cause for that loss. if we forget, then all the suffering and loss really does count for nothing
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    While I agree that this was a major contributing factor, it really was a lot more complicated than that. There were many contributing factors to the war caused by many nations. All the "major" powers in Europe have an equal share of the blame for this tragic war.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the causes of the war are more complex than the way i have painted it. And every one of the major powers had a share or a eole to play in causing the war. however i think there are subtle diferences in the expectations of say Britiain to those of Imperial germany. Imperial Germany used the war as a reason or an excuse to

    1) Invade and ocupy a neutralo power.

    2) Attempt to subjugate her neighbours with the intent of occupying them as imperial colonies

    3) Engaging in direct attacks on Civilians, in the form, principally of unrestricted uboat warfare and the Zeppelin attacks. Whilst our subsequent experiences with uboats and strategic bombing makes this accusation now seem quaint and somewhat absurd, at the time it was viewed with the utmost horror.

    4) Instigating new forms of warfare, namely gas attacks. that added a whole new dimension to thehorrors at the front

    5) Their efforts to get Mexico involved in the war were seen as aiding and abetting agressive war, which was viewed with indigantion in the US


    Because of these excesses, the british were able to paint the germans in the light of a monstrous regime that led to its ultimate demise. germany was guilty of these crimes, and stood out from other European powers in the sense that she appeared more willing than others to resort to these methods, which at the time were viewed with abhorrence.

    When germany sued for peace these excesses were all remembered and in an ordgy of revenge, the germans were hit with the unequal peace treaty.

    It cannot be argued that the opponents of germany were not guilty of similar crimes. In some repects their crimes were worse. the British blockade caused the death of many germans. But the germans were the instigators of questionable methods in many cases, and this was not forgotten at the peace talks
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree with you on many of your points. I was also not really thinking of the "crimes" per say but as for the causes of the war.
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The debt should have been canceled in the post war period of the 2nd world war. There's no reason to punish any country for events that happened multiple decades in the past.
     
  14. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #14 michaelmaltby, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
    Parsifal, while I AGREE with your sentiments about Germany and WWI debts, I have a respect for Germany post world-war II ( and for Japan) that I do NOT share with France. As I put it in another post on another thread on THIS forum, Germany and Japan re-invented themselves post wwII. This act required great discipline by the civilian (and military) populations. Did France re-invent herself after WWII ....? No. Not one whit. The cinema and the cheese remained superb - and the political scene was " deny, deny, deny": We weren't conquered. We didn't 'like' the Nazis. The 'occupations' was tres terrible for us - BUT- we're back and we're a POWER with an Empire. We don't need NATO - we're France.

    That mean spirit of Monsieur Georges Clemanceaux, et al was present throughout the Versailles, in 1918-19 - and was a factor in the assignment of (massive) WWI 'debt' to Germany.

    While the scales are hugely different - compare Finland with France. Finland (a loser) was handed diabolical terms by Stalin (@ the end of War of Continuation) - and turned those conditions into prosperity and excellence. France ( a multi-time loser) stayed on the road to denial and delusion. Today it is a fractured country where torching cars is a celebrated event and Mosques spread while Christian churches close.

    As for: "... The debt should have been canceled in the post war period of the 2nd world war". Don't agree. Germany was as much an agressor in 1914 as it was in 1939. Just look at the photos posted on this site of Belgium in 1914 after they said "no" to the Germans.

    The debt was part of the peace terms - the commitment - and it took Germany 2 tries ( 2 wars) but they leaned to meet - and exceed - their commitments. And I say to them: Well done .... now - please - come and FIGHT in Af'stan cause we need you. :)

    MM
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The unequal treaties were the product of french (and british) duplicity and malevolence. No question.

    France has overblown opinions of herself there is no argument from this quarter. I would go even further and say that the epicentre of anti-semitism has shifted from central europe to france, in europe at least.

    I also agree that Germany and Japan have reinvented themselves and no longer are the threat to democracy they once were. They are model international citizens actually.

    But, if i can expose my personal feelings for a minute.....do i think the Germans and the Japanese have attoned for their sins during the war. No, I cannot. I am too small a man for that. In my book, the germans were responsible for the avoidable deaths of about 20 million people during WWII. If we assume that until today they have been paying a penalty for that crime, I think that amounts to about 20 minutes attonement for each and every death they were responsible for. is that enough? Not in my book

    However, one can go nuts thinking about that stuff. And vengeanbce does not bring back the dead. and the people of germany today cannot be held accountable for the sins their fathers and grandfathers committed. We have no choice but to forgive, and move on. But I will never forget, and will never let others forget, what happened, and why we must always remember how that happened....so it doesnt happen again
     
  16. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    You said this before indeed. But I don't understand. What did they do to have to re-invent themselves? I imagine you mean Vichy, but all occupied countries had collaborators. All occupied countries had soldiers fighting on the axis side, even in an organised manner. The French also had an army fighting on the allied side, the free French. The leader of France after WW2 was De Gaulle, who was also leader of the Free French and enemy of Germany and Vichy. Why should he have to "re-invent" himself?
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #17 michaelmaltby, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
    Brilliant post, parsifal. I woke up this morning wondering how you would respond - and I applaud. :)

    Marcel - with respect, I don't believe you quite understand the "re-invention" term (shorthand really) that I throw out perhaps (too) casually :).

    When human behavior (individual or national) undertakes actions that turn out badly - for them and/or the 'rest of us' :) it's generally wise to re-consider said behavior or actions before repeating. ".... If it didn't work the first time, it might be wise to consider other action or behavior this time". NOT to follow this kind of human trial-and-error process is considered a symptom of insanity by many. :)

    So - to re-invention.

    Right now the US is probably the most creative "re-inventer"of itself (for good or bad, only time will tell). From tribal wilderness to colony - to revolution and democracy - to slavery and civil war - to Liberator of France (1918) to economic collapse and withdrawal - to arsenal of democracy and holder of the A bomb. My point: a thriving society always has conflict within and without itself (silent harmony is the state called death :)).

    As we speak, China and now more likely JAPAN - are the ones re-inventing themselves - more vigorously than America.

    Throughout modern history, Britain, has been masterful in re-inventing herself - until 1914-18 ended the ride. (1939 to '45 was running on fumes ... but aaah ...WHAT fumes :).

    Now consider France. Repeatedly bested by Britain - a smaller, poorer, island country - in war and in commercial empire. While the British evolved Parliament - re-invented a national expression of Christianity, France stagnated under it's Aristocracy and its Church - until the pot boiled over - blew up big. When things settled to a simmer there was a New Aristocracy and a New Emperor - with all the fantasies, power trips and arrogance of the previous bunch. When THAT regime was finally beheaded at Waterloo - another bunch took over - with another Empire and another Emperor - and more delusional behavior. For ALL THAT creative angst that France has generated - what's to show .... (And yes I love to visit France, and I marvel at the TGV, and the Caravelle and new Dassault naval fighter are on my most beautiful list) - but the fact is that France has consistently followed a course of action that gets her into trouble - in which she either looses big or has to get bailed out by others - from outside.

    In his book 'The Big Show', Pierre Closterman recalls that when he returned to Free France in 1944 as a Typhoon-Tempest leader and seasoned vet, all the French people said to him: "but YOU were SAFE over there during the war" .... we, Closterman's readers, know from his book that he wasn't SAFE over there.

    If life was simply culture - cheese, wine, style and perhaps amour, :), than France might not need to reinvent herself. But it isn't. Life is about survival and prosperity in an uncertain, always changing world. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Japan behaved badly with its neighbors (not of course that Britain, France, Italy, Germany etc, etc were not behaving JUST AS BADLY). When it became clear that Japan would only surrender to a catastrophic act-of-war - that weapon was deployed by the USA on behalf of the Allies. Japan rebuilt a new country, with new inclusiveness, new industries, vigor, discipline and creativity. Japan did NOT return to 1904-05 when they defeated Russia. They rebuilt to new specs - the specs of USA industrial supremacy and Japanese values.

    Germany was a slower-learner :). It took two tries to motivate re-invention. But if you consider the challenges posed by re-unification to economic and social stability, Germany has proven to be a master re-inventer.

    So Marcel, it is with these thoughts in mind that I wrote what I wrote about re-invention and France. I was responding to a thread that suggested that we on this forum are prejudiced against France. Make fun of things French. I see no real evidence of that here, but do know that regulars have "high standards" about courage, accountability and responsible behavior - and given that, if France gets criticized here .. France gets criticized. :)

    MM
    Proud Canadian
     
  18. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    You're correct, I did interprete it wrongly. Sometimes I regret that English is not my native language, it would have been much easier. I was confused as you only compared to Axis countries, generally considered as the villains in WWII. Thanks for clearing up.
    I do agree with you to a point. We Dutch often complain about the arrogance of the French government here in the EU, while they actually don't have a reason to be that way. I must say that I'm not one to go on vacation in France, as I'm not that fond on the country. But I also know that France had it's great moments in history and it has had tremendous influence on the culture here in Europe (together with Germany and Britain)
    Oh that has been as much a part of this forum in the past as the aircraft themselves, luckily a few years ago. But I think it has been mostly 'before your time'
    a few examples which I remember from the top of my head:
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/stories/pierre-h-clostermann-leading-french-ace-346.html
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/off-topic-misc/piss-french-6534.html
     
  19. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Marcel.

    Chairs :)

    MM
     
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