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Oct 1 15 11:52 AM
HMS Pinafore wrote:Historically none of the countries in the Balkans wanted to join into WW1 unless they were certain that they would a) win, and b) gain lots of territory off their opponents.They were however all fairly open to offers by major powers on both sides who either wanted them to openly join in the war or remain 'neutral' and allow them to permit military forces and war materials to pass through their territories without too many questions. It was a dangerous balancing act which none of them really wanted, but were more than happy to engage in if it gave them an advantage.Britain and France used Greece to mount attacks against Turkey & Austria. Germany used Bulgaria to transport military forces and war material to Turkey (via occupied northern Serbia).All the Great Powers were at it!!
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Oct 1 15 6:02 PM
HMS Pinafore wrote:One reason why there were so many strikes in the UK during both WW1 & WW2 was beacuse striking was never outlawed. Churchill later observed that "the right to strike is one of the freedoms we are fighting for".
Other countries were not so liberal as far as allowing strikes were concerned during both wars. This might explain why there were more strikes in Britain than elsewhere.
Oct 1 15 6:18 PM
Razor wrote:How were they to do so? By aerial bombardment? By blockade?
Nobody knew in 1914 how much the civilian population could take despite the determined efforts mostly by Germany to find out
Indiscriminate naval bombardment of coastal towns
Zeppelin raids on London and elsewhere
Gotha raids on London and elsewhere
British raids on Germany (which actually killed more Germans than the Germans killed Brits)
London and other British cities again
Many cities in the East
One of the most callous acts by anyone against a civilian population was of course by the Germans - they discovered that a French coal mine ran under the lines and on their side and there was an airshaft . They could have sealed it they could have told the French to stop working the mine or they would render it inoperable. What they actually did is dump 6 tonnes of chlorine down it and killed all the civilian miners . - a new depth had just been plumbed !
Germany again Interesting that you should totally discount the valiant efforts of the Mighty Eighth in piling up the body count.
In the '30s it was fear of aerial bombing that got British rearmament going with top priority going to Fighter Command and AA Command.
The British view was always if you push the envelope and extend the horror of war by say bombardment of civilians or use of chemical or biological warfare all of which Germany did that gives licence to use the same I agree with this though in terms of international law it is not legal, which is why in war you have to win .
WE never used biological agents unlike the Germans (though Churchill did want to drench Germany in anthrax). With respect to gas and bombing we were much better at it than Germany and "achieved more"
The point I made about the Divisions in Britain in 1914 Womens suffrage, Increasingly powerful socialist lobbies,Industrial unrest, Ireland and the coming war were serious and could have seriously hamstrung our war effort but they did not The effect of the German invasion of Belgium not only forced the Governments hand it united the rest of the country and kept it so for much of the war. Ireland was on the brink of civil war large numbers of unionists and nationalists were drilling to fight each other and HMG and they joined the British army en masse to fight the hun.
Suffragettes put aside their powerful and often violent (they blew up Lloyd Georges house)campaign until Germany was beaten etc etc Most people in Britain did not want the war for all sorts of reasons
Some feared the expense
Some such as Generals Wilson and Smith-Dorrien because they feared the magnitude of the bloodshed and the effect on the world and society they knew
Many simply opposed war as an evil
Some saw it as a bosses war being forced on the working class and nothing to do with them and took the working classes had more in common with each other than their own ruling classes
Some were appalled at being allied with Russia and it repressive and despotic regime
On the other hand some were looking forward to it
Exactly what part of "Germany had universal male suffrage in 1871 and universal female suffrage in 1919, while Britain only had universal male suffrage in 1918 and universal female suffrage in 1928" do you not understand? If anyone was at the "forefront", it was demonstrably Germany and not Britain. And admission of this fact doesn't make Britain uniquely evil nor Germany uniquely good, anyway.
Germany may have had a broader franchise but so what ? The German parliament was relatively unimportant with Kaiser, the General staff (von Moltke)and subsequently Ludendorf were running the country in Britain people were being elected to something which mattered.. In Germany civilian parliamentary government only became important when the war was lost and the Army dumped the job of surrendering on the Civilians. When I say "foremost" I mean amongst the countries struggling towards a more democratic form of goverment and I was simply refuting Ropers point that Britain was not a democracy which it clearly was .
Oct 1 15 7:12 PM
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