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What was your most memorable face to face, stand-up altercation about WWII?

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  • What was your most memorable face to face, stand-up altercation about WWII?

    What was your most memorable face to face altercation about WWII?

    Okay, maybe altercation is too strong a word? (lodestar opens with a rare concession…benevolent lodestar)

    Let’s call it a robust and spirited discussion ie: a shouting match (lodestar as master of metaphor - oh and if it’s not actually a metaphor it’s still brilliant).

    Well enough of prologue (lodestar gets to the point).

    Naw seriously, I’m always reminiscing with my old history buff buddies and buddiesses, former tutors and students (acolytes and lodestar worshippers one and all) about the ancient pre-internet world when people actually you know….. spoke person to person, face to face, opinion to opinion, misconception to misconception.
    Anyone else rememb
    er those days?

    With the incredibly fast spread of the WWW and the seemingly almost complete domination of discussion, debate and dialog in many areas it has now achieved, I find myself missing the old days more and more.
    Okay, okay I’m probably viewing the whole thing through very rose-coloured classes but some of the older posters must know what I mean?

    One of the best aspects of that era was the way some discussion could get very heated very fast.

    This was especially so when prejudices, national pride, sacred cows, popular misconceptions and conventional wisdoms came into play.

    If fueled by a few drinks and/or some err..ummm…… other lubricants, discussion could be great entertainments that were thoroughly enjoyable most of the time.

    However, especially when it came to World War Two they could become pretty vigorous at times.
    Mostly when peoples politics, ethnic origins and 'set ideas' were ruffled.

    I recall several topics that were guaranteed to wind people up no end.
    These included in rough chronological order:

    .The German people and the ‘why’ of Hitler

    . The politics of the Spanish Civil War

    . The morality of appeasement, the German/Soviet Non-aggression pact and the failure to help Ethiopia

    . The reasons for failing to support Poland directly in 1939

    . The French

    . Dunkirk

    . Mers El-Kebir

    . The chances of the Germans invading Britain in 1940

    .The importance or otherwise of the so-called ‘sideshow’ or ‘secondary’ campaigns (North Africa, the Mediterranean/ Italian theatres, the Western Front, China, India, Burma, New Guinea etc.)

    . The reasons Barbarossa failed

    . The nature of the regime that that defeated Hitler (ie the Soviet Union) and the nature of the war on the Eastern Front and whether the two regimes were equally reprehensible.

    . American isolationism

    . The morality of allied area bombing

    . The importance or otherwise of lend-lease

    . The destruction of Monte Cassino

    . Accusations of ‘feet-dragging’ avoiding major land -war effort and casualty aversion on the part of the Anglo-Americans

    .The timing of D-Day

    . Yalta

    . The ‘Race to Berlin’

    . Who contributed most to defeating Nazi Germany

    . Hiroshima

    Etc. etc.
    They were great exercises in polemics and the more heated they got the more I liked ‘em coz I was always right.

    Anyway what ‘robust and spirited discussions’ can posters recall with people who were either very ignorant ….or dare I say it better at presenting their case that you were?
    Looking forward to your input.

    lodestar was neither liked nor trusted. Not by those who raised him, those he grew up with and went to school with, those he worked with and associated with as an adult, nor those who know him now.
    One woman told him she felt uneasy around him because: 'Your eyes are the colour of dirty coins.'


    Regards lodestar


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    I would say the perennial two that invoke the most heated responses are in order:

    1. Seelöwe

    2. The Japanese invade Hawaii + Pearl Harbor.

    Leave a comment:


  • Don Juan
    replied
    I once had a huge altercation at a conference with a Swiss gentleman who had travelled to Russia and concluded from his own personal experience that Operation Barbarossa could never have succeeded. I strongly disagreed, and in the heat of the argument, I made the mistake of implying that Swiss people were the last people in the world who should comment on the efficacy of invasion plans. Beer was involved, and not only did this person work for the same company as me, he was in a superior position. So the whole thing was a bit of disaster really. Also, I now think that he was right and I was wrong.

    But generally, altercations just result from sticking to your guns, don't they? It's not aggression that starts altercations, but rather a refusal to back down.

    Leave a comment:


  • lodestar
    replied
    One of the crossest run-ins I had was about twenty five years ago with a work colleague who got agitated when I tried to explain that contrary to popular conception and supposed conventional wisdom the infamous Waffen SSwas not, repeat not a racially exclusive organisation.

    Guy thought I was talking rubbish (hard to believe huh?) and insisted on the cliché that they were an Aryan race-based, elitist organisation and an epitome of Nazism.

    I tried to explain to him that the ‘broader’ Waffen SS was in some ways trying to become a kind of Pan-European force and had members (and indeed entire units made up of) who were, for instance; Hungarians, Danes, Frenchmen, Yugoslav Muslims, Albanians, Croatians, Latvians, Italians, Russians and Walloons.
    These members were not Volkdeutsche (‘racial’ German living outside the Reich boundaries - though of course Volkdeutsche joined or were drafted into the SS) but a varied bunch of races and quite clearly not the ‘Teutonic Knights’ of Nazi fantasy.

    Discussion was getting heated and he was shaking his head, saying stuff like ‘Give me Strength’ (I get that a lot) etc.
    So I let it go for the moment.

    Next day I bought in a copy of John Keegan’s ‘Waffen SS: The Asphalt Soldiers’ (Purnell’s 1970) an early Keegan effort and probably his best overall. It has a good chapter on the whole Waffen SS 'Foreign Legions' phenomena.

    He sort of reluctantly took it and a couple days later flipped it onto my desk and said “Yeah interesting” and walked off.
    We never discussed history or much else ever again.
    Strange the way some people react when facts are presented, especially in light of fake news etc. these days.

    “I have shown very clearly that you are mistaken. You cannot simply restate the same argument over and over in spite of contrary evidence, especially since you have never shown any data to back your own position.”

    Regards
    lodestar

    Leave a comment:


  • lcm1
    replied
    I pride myself on having a good sense of humour but not with this sort of rubbish! lcm1

    Leave a comment:


  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Salinator View Post
    After some serious humiliation by the ROTC of the lame fraternity that I was sadly to be a member off, some idiot name Bluto (how lame of a name is that?) attempted to lift our spirits by making some pep speech about not giving up after the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor. I had to bite my tongue and not confront that human pimple for his lack of historical accuracy. Clearly we were attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Italians.

    Leave a comment:


  • Salinator
    replied
    After some serious humiliation by the ROTC of the lame fraternity that I was sadly to be a member off, some idiot name Bluto (how lame of a name is that?) attempted to lift our spirits by making some pep speech about not giving up after the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor. I had to bite my tongue and not confront that human pimple for his lack of historical accuracy. Clearly we were attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Italians.

    Leave a comment:


  • lcm1
    replied
    Originally posted by lodestar View Post

    Very, very well played Icm1 .
    I asked about a face to face altercation about WWII and you provide one that was about WWII DURING WWII. Priceless!
    Bloody Yanks!
    Overpaid
    Over-sexed
    and over here!

    How's that long over-due award going, still waiting?

    Reagrds
    lodestar
    You mean the French L of H ? Received it early this year! lcm1

    Leave a comment:


  • lcm1
    replied
    Must admit BG, A good one!! lcm1

    Leave a comment:


  • BELGRAVE
    replied
    My favourite quote about WW2 came for LT COL John "Mad Jack" Churchill DSO etc.

    " If it wasn't for those damn Yanks we could have kept the war going another ten years "

    Leave a comment:


  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post

    I knew that was gonna be "Belts." "Till half of them was Liffey mud, and half was tattered clo'es." That was how I learned that the river Liffey flows through Dublin. Though why an Irish regiment of infantry would be stationed in Dublin with a regiment of English cavalry was beyond me.
    Ireland before 1920 was fully integrated into the UK and was heavily involved in cavalry training for the British Army. The main centre for cavalry training was the Curragh Camp in County Kildare. As a result 'English; cavalry units could be found dotted around Ireland at any time (and Irish battalions could be found in England)

    I can remember the lify in the 70s when it was so heavily polluted with sewage that in the summer it was justly celled the sniffy.

    Leave a comment:


  • wolfhnd
    replied
    Any time you are talking to a Russion

    Leave a comment:


  • Desiree Clary
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post

    Kipling described an earnest discussion of military issues from an earlier perios

    https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poe...ing/belts.html
    I knew that was gonna be "Belts." "Till half of them was Liffey mud, and half was tattered clo'es." That was how I learned that the river Liffey flows through Dublin. Though why an Irish regiment of infantry would be stationed in Dublin with a regiment of English cavalry was beyond me.

    Leave a comment:


  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    Yes, I was with a group of mates in a Pub in Exeter early 44, also in that same bar was a group of American Service men. The beer was flowing and loud American voices were proclaiming to everyone within about 3 miles that they had to come over to win the war for us. Now despite the fact that there was a certain amount of truth in the comments, it was a tricky subject to bring up in a city that had been badly bombed and a country that had already been at war for three plus years. The argument had become quite rough when someone yelled out ..'REDCAPS'!!! and military bodies disappeared in all directions! We were banned from that area of Exeter from then on. lcm1
    Kipling described an earnest discussion of military issues from an earlier perios

    https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poe...ing/belts.html

    Leave a comment:


  • lodestar
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    Yes, I was with a group of mates in a Pub in Exeter early 44, also in that same bar was a group of American Service men. The beer was flowing and loud American voices were proclaiming to everyone within about 3 miles that they had to come over to win the war for us. Now despite the fact that there was a certain amount of truth in the comments, it was a tricky subject to bring up in a city that had been badly bombed and a country that had already been at war for three plus years. The argument had become quite rough when someone yelled out ..'REDCAPS'!!! and military bodies disappeared in all directions! We were banned from that area of Exeter from then on. lcm1
    Very, very well played Icm1 .
    I asked about a face to face altercation about WWII and you provide one that was about WWII DURING WWII. Priceless!
    Bloody Yanks!
    Overpaid
    Over-sexed
    and over here!

    How's that long over-due award going, still waiting?

    Reagrds
    lodestar

    Leave a comment:

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