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Proposed tute: What have European nations learnt from the World Wars?

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  • Proposed tute: What have European nations learnt from the World Wars?

    What have European nations learnt from the World Wars?
    The return of lodestar. (long pause)

    Some squirm in their seats, many give a massive sigh of relieve and whisper “thank you gods, thank you gods”, others hunch closer to their screens saying… “This should be interesting.”
    Still others think “what’s the point of me posting a thread-starter now…he’s back”.
    A few announce, “That old bore? …bet it’s the same old same old.”

    A fair summary? (short pause)
    A fair summary indeed.
    Therefore let us proceed.

    Naw seriously, I’ve been busy painting the house with my eldest son and decided to have a break from this forum and spend some time on the North American sub-forum as it is an election year.

    Been trying to make them yanks see that Trump, absurdist, shyster, phony and blowhard though he may be, is actually just the tonic and purgative their moribund political system needs!
    They’re sort of listening but there’s a tad too much clutter from other thread-starters for the discussion to flow as properly as I’d like (in others words under my strict control - always works better that way!)
    (long pause)

    The near election of far right FPOe's candidate Norbert Hofer (sounds like a cartoon character) as Austrian president has peeked my interest (ergo the matter is by and of itself of interest to the forum) and leads me to ask this question:
    ‘Essentially what have European nations learnt from their experiences of both world wars?’
    (Err ….well apart from the obvious ‘duh’ moment that war is something to be avoided if at all possible.)

    As usual with my most of my thread-starters it’s actually a re-hash oh a tutorial theme I helped explore back in the seventies.Hope to re-run it again at some time in the next 40 years.

    I don’t want too many restrictions on the discussion but if possible, I think a few parameters might be appropriate:

    . Despite embryonic European unity now being a tentative reality, I’m not asking the question about Europe as a whole yet, but at this point focussing on individual nations.
    This is because European nations often had essentially very different experiences of the 1914 - 45 period. Not just different from each other but different in each war.
    For example France’s experiences and lessons from the Great War were completely dissimilar from those in WW2.

    . I like to make the discussion as broad as possible and eventually cover as many nations as possible.
    From (alphabetically) Albania to Yugoslavia (remember that post- Princip entity?) and all nations (alphabetically) in between if you will!

    . I really also want to avoid too many smart quip, one-liner, snappy put-down or knockout punch type replies.
    You know what I mean. Things like: “Well the biggest lesson Poland learnt from the wars is that their geographical position sucks - big time!
    Frankly, while sometimes fun, these sort of replies generally irritate the hell out of me once they get out of hand. (Oh cripes! What have I done? Now every resident smart-alecky, wise guy on the forum is gonna try and outdo each other - please try and reply intelligently…. please)

    As an example of what might be interesting to explore is that so far as Germany goes it should have learnt (and I believe has learnt) that fragile, multi-party, cosmopolitan, economically unstable, even inherently weak, dysfunctional and uncertain governments (ie: Weimar Republic), however problematic were infinitely more preferable than a ‘strong’ government that ‘put an end to all that nonsense’, created order, stability and restored national strength!

    Get the idea?
    If you don’t then of course don’t contribute.

    I’ll state at the start that I think in overall terms, basic European unity (with or without ‘Les Brits’ or any other recalcitrant states) is a good thing.

    Historian Ian Morris interviewed on Australian (that’s Australia friends - Not Austria!) about his book ‘War! What is it good for?’ said that the major outcome of the 2nd World War in Europe was that it helped create the EU therefore of course producing a generally much safer Europe.
    However, he stressed it (the EU) was one of the most remarkable and daring experiments attempted in history (albeit hiding behind the American Leviathan), seeking as it does, to convince nations and peoples to give up elements of their sovereignty, bringing together of millions of people and above all calming down or sidelining hot-headed morons across the continent.
    Anyway enough from me from now. Looking forward to your input.

    Good to be back on deck.

    Regards lodestar

  • #2
    painting the house with my eldest son
    A brush is much easier or a spray gun.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
      A brush is much easier or a spray gun.
      He wanted a nice red.
      "To hell wars Grudges and parties ! As our fathers Sing in real friends, The clink of glasses Roses and lilies. The clink of glasses Roses and lilies."

      Comment


      • #4
        France learnt many things from world wars.

        At first by setting up a strong State with the constitution of the 5th republic, then by becoming a power nuclear so that the defeat of 1940 never replicates, finally, by not hesitating to use his army, sometimes without his allies, as soon as its interests are endangered.

        Comment


        • #5
          What have European nations learned from WW I and II, well that such things are not really good things to have. Some folks would like to avoid hostile contact AT ALL COSTS, some STICK THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND AND HOPE ANY THREAT WILL JUST GO AWAY. Some folks SEEK TO ENGAGE WITH THE GOOD AND REASONABLENESS THEY FEEL MUST BE IN ALL FOLKS. Some of us realise that as much as we might personally dislike the idea, that when other folks are hell bent on destroying our way of life, then a robust and forceful response may be the only option, other than rolling over and going belly up without a fight.

          I am sure it is much the same amongst the populous Stateside.

          Comment


          • #6
            Being the frontline of a European war is no longer profitable business.
            Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

            Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

            Comment


            • #7
              Judging by the Yugoslavia Seccession Wars in the 1990s and the current Ukranian Civil War, the answer is:

              Absolutely nothing

              Germany might have not been guilty of WWI, that is debatable, but like in 1939, they are at it again, on 1991 and 2014.


              Germany has not reformed at all. Their elites are as power hungry and hellbent on "Deutschland über alles" as the German leaders of the past. They just don't send the panzer divisions anymore, but have others wage war for them and use economical imperialism to achieve their contests. Their populace for the most part has been lulled into complacency and have started to believe they are actually a good people and are blind to the heinous deeds of their rulers. The Russians in Ukraine are the new Jews.

              Coming from a country that was spared both world wars and never had to experience occupation, I never understood why the Europeans despised Germans so much. Now I understand.

              The only reason Germany and France learned is that in any war between them they both would be the losers to the profit of others. They are thieves that have agreed to share the booty, and increasingly France is becoming the junior partner.

              As for the rest of your post, Europe remains an US protectorate. Germany may be able to impose her economic diktat to the rest of Europe, but they are just the kapo of the lager. For all intents and purposes the European Union has become a "prison of peoples", but when it comes to foreign policy, Germany is just another inmate.


              There's no such thing as permanent memory. Memories only last as long as the lives of the people that learned them. The lessons have to be re-learned every generation, else they are forgotten. The European peoples in general have learned little from the world wars, other that overt totalitarianism is discredited, but that does nothing to prevent the insidious creep of totalitarianism under the sheep's clothing of democracy. In that sense, the Europeans learned nothing.
              Last edited by von Junzt; 01 Jun 16, 07:43.
              CANNON, n.
              An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.

              The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

              http://guerraenucrania.wordpress.com/

              http://pinturasdeguerra.tumblr.com/

              http://pinturasdeguerra-mar.tumblr.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                EU has never enabled peace in Europe. It is the domination of United States and USSR as well as the balance of terror which enabled peace.

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                • #9
                  NATO

                  What the Dutch learned from World War 2 in particular was in one word: 'NATO'.

                  "NATO kept the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans divided".

                  In Dutch diplomatic circles this was the toast from 1949 till 1989.
                  BoRG

                  You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The EU gave the idea of working together instead of going to war with each other. In that case the EU is successful.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jpg View Post
                      EU has never enabled peace in Europe. It is the domination of United States and USSR as well as the balance of terror which enabled peace.
                      It has shifted the likely future frontline from West to East though, and from a strictly Western European pov. that's positive.
                      Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                      Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        EU is just an economic project.

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                        • #13
                          That ship sailed some time ago.

                          It used to be called European Economic Community when I was younger, somewhere along the way they dropped the second "E" though
                          Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                          Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In my view, Europe is not a religion. If France has an interest to stay in UE, she can stay there. Otherwise, she has to leave her.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jpg View Post
                              EU has never enabled peace in Europe. It is the domination of United States and USSR as well as the balance of terror which enabled peace.
                              Ah, if by 'peace' you mean the MAD peace we had, then yes.

                              But the MAD peace in Europe did not prevent masses of wars by proxy elsewhere, most of those wars also involving covert and even overt involvment of varying numbers of Western and/or Eastern block conventional forces.

                              Within the Eastern European block we did of course have the likes of the Hungarian Uprising and the Prague Spring being suppressed with some violence.

                              I seem to remember a 'part works' series of publications here in the UK called 'War in Peace' which detailed many wars around the world despite, or perhaps because of the two proclaimed 'super powers'.

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