Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Great War!

This is coolbert:

Got some very good stuff here. Thanks to Lew Rockwell, Mr. Vance, a review of the review, that original book by Jack Beatty.

"'An Injury to Civilization' By Laurence M. Vance"

"Review of Jack Beatty, 'The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began'"

"Here [according to Mr. Vance], in the order in which they appear in the book, are the things I want to highlight about the book."

Those highlights as appear in the review and found to be most pertinent from my perspective with my commentary:

"Page 77-78, Beatty notes that 'starting with the mobilization of the army in August, Russia banned the sale of liquor in all but first-class restaurants.' This led to the deaths of hundreds from drinking various concoctions, 28 percent of the government’s income gone from taxes not collected, peasants diverting grain from the production of bread to vodka, and 'bread riots' in St. Petersburg that began the Russian Revolution in 1917."

[that amount of crop land in England during the same period having been dedicated to the growing of fodder for the English cavalry meant that a large segment of the British population subsisted on a less than adequate diet for almost the entire duration of the war, malnourished and highly dependent on imported food!]

"Page 91, Beatty postulates that if a revolt in Ireland had necessitated the sending in of the BEF, it could not at the same time had been sent to France. Quoting Niall Ferguson: 'If the BEF had never been sent, there is no question that the Germans would have won the war.' and again, if Germany had won in 1914, 'Hitler could have lived out his life as a failed artist and a fulfilled soldier in a German-dominated Central Europe about which he could have found little to complain.' Beatty then cites Richard Ned Lebow: 'If Germany had won, there almost certainly would have been no Hitler and no Holocaust.'”

[The German invasion of France in 1914 stopped by the French the contribution of the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] rather minuscule from the military standpoint. Even minus the BEF the German would NOT have been ultimately successful. Events on the ground more or less transpiring sans BEF?]

"Page 251, Beatty refers to the work of retired U.S. Army officer and German-trained historian Terence Zuber on the 'Schlieffen Plan.' On the basis of evidence discovered in the East German archives, Zuber contends that 'the Schlieffen Plan was not Germany’s strategy in 1914.' Schlieffen’s memorandum was 'an elaborate ploy to increase the size of the German army.' The German generals 'invented' the 'Schlieffen Plan' after the war 'to rescue the mystique of Prussian militarism from the disgrace of defeat.'”

[That Schlieffen Plan as ORIGINALLY ENVISIONED modified prior to 1914. That German army that marched at the start of the war needed to be 50 % larger for the plan to succeed as had been proposed in 1905. It was not so much larger considerably more troops having been deployed to protect the eastern borders of the German Empire.]

"Page 287, Beatty notes that Lloyd George was found 'searching for Gallipoli on a map of Spain.' Then as now, war is how many people learn geography."

"Page 324, Beatty finishes the book with the truest thing that Wilson ever said about World War I: 'An injury . . . to civilization . . . which can never be atoned for or repaired.'”

Indeed, that Great War resulting in the dissolution of the great empires that existed in 1914. Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman. Chaos post-war on a massive and almost overwhelming scale.

Those totalitarian and despotic regimes ideologies of fascism and communism a bane on all of humanity as a result of the war for decades to come.

AND that very psyche of "western man" "wounded" in the process needing a healing has never been fully accomplished.

"Western man", the European/American civilization [referred to as the "Proud Tower" by Barbara Tuchmann] that prior to the Great War was totally ascendant on a global scale having lost a confidence not ever recovered. Humanity thought to have finally been perfect-able in the aftermath of the war disillusioned almost beyond redemption.


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