German President invited to Cenotaph.

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Go a bit deeper and you will realise it was also an overgrown family argument between cousins. Do you want to look at the British Empire and it's air policing of the Kurdsin the Middle East in the 1920's? How about the Boer War and Kitchener's scorched earth policy?

We can go on - you should know that there are rules of engagement and there are ways of achieving the objective. War now is different to war 100 years ago which was different to war 100 years before that.

You are arguing with yourself.
Go a bit deeper, as Sean McMeekin did in July 1914: Countdown to War, which included a detailed examination of the diplomatic traffic of the Great Powers involved, and you actually discover it was a tremendous conspiracy/cock-up by the respective players, with Russia the prime conspiring villain of the piece and the British Foreign Office not far behind holding the flag for cock-up. The consistent theme is that of the respective monarchs either being out-manoeuvred or discovering what their politicians and civil servants were up to too late to do anything about it.

A bit like the Titanic story, one of the saddest aspects of the whole affair is how close the cousins came to stopping the war on multiple occasions and just how easily it could have been avoided. From that perspective, it's a very difficult read, particularly the bit where the Foreign Office's man, Sir George Buchanan, couldn't be arrsed to discover for himself whether the Russian Army was mobilising, as the Germans claimed, and simply took what he was told by the Russians at face value and submitted reports to say they weren't. The British Government acted on the basis of these reports and dismissed German claims, which in turn convinced the Germans, who could see the Russian build-up in front of them, that whatever was going on, the British must be in on it. That took Britain out of the game as an honest broker and pretty much removed the last chance of peace.

Under the circumstances, one can see why the Germans baulked at the War Guilt clause in the Versailles Treaty, McMeekin's research showed that the Russians made most of the running. They didn't mobilise faster than expected as the traditional view would have it, they had simply started to mobilise earlier than anyone suspected. One can see why the 'Aggressive Hun' trope became the preferred version but the idea that war was inevitable and that it was in some way driven by family jealousies does not survive detailed scrutiny. It's yet another of those First World War myths we were all brought up with and which are now steadily being debunked by historians mining the source materials in a more objective way than perhaps hitherto.

I would love one of our better historians to write a book about how the narrative of the First World War was hi-jacked in the years that followed by multiple interests pushing their preferred line.

July 1914 is well worth a read and I thoroughly recommend it.
 
The Japanese were very good allies in WWI, and, their treatment of POWs was regarded as exemplary and cited as an example of how it should be done.
As this is ARRSE it's likely many of us will know this, or that the USA was good good friends with Japan in the inter war years, and that US troops trained with and did exercises with Japaneses troops in Japan.

I sometimes wonder if the change you mention from WW1 to WW2 isn't as well known by the wider public as they were never taught much (or anything) about Japan in the WW1 era.
While many younger people I've spoken to can cite the different ethos of Germany in WW1 versus WW2 many of them also think China was our enemy in WW2.
 
Go a bit deeper, as Sean McMeekin did in July 1914: Countdown to War, which included a detailed examination of the diplomatic traffic of the Great Powers involved, and you actually discover it was a tremendous conspiracy/cock-up by the respective players, with Russia the prime conspiring villain of the piece and the British Foreign Office not far behind holding the flag for cock-up. The consistent theme is that of the respective monarchs either being out-manoeuvred or discovering what their politicians and civil servants were up to too late to do anything about it.

A bit like the Titanic story, one of the saddest aspects of the whole affair is how close the cousins came to stopping the war on multiple occasions and just how easily it could have been avoided. From that perspective, it's a very difficult read, particularly the bit where the Foreign Office's man, Sir George Buchanan, couldn't be arrsed to discover for himself whether the Russian Army was mobilising, as the Germans claimed, and simply took what he was told by the Russians at face value and submitted reports to say they weren't. The British Government acted on the basis of these reports and dismissed German claims, which in turn convinced the Germans, who could see the Russian build-up in front of them, that whatever was going on, the British must be in on it. That took Britain out of the game as an honest broker and pretty much removed the last chance of peace.

Under the circumstances, one can see why the Germans baulked at the War Guilt clause in the Versailles Treaty, McMeekin's research showed that the Russians made most of the running. They didn't mobilise faster than expected as the traditional view would have it, they had simply started to mobilise earlier than anyone suspected. One can see why the 'Aggressive Hun' trope became the preferred version but the idea that war was inevitable and that it was in some way driven by family jealousies does not survive detailed scrutiny. It's yet another of those First World War myths we were all brought up with and which are now steadily being debunked by historians mining the source materials in a more objective way than perhaps hitherto.

I would love one of our better historians to write a book about how the narrative of the First World War was hi-jacked in the years that followed by multiple interests pushing their preferred line.

July 1914 is well worth a read and I thoroughly recommend it.
Excellent post, and a can of worms truly opened!
Just looking at a few of the 'sliding door/what if' moments the possibilities for a different word are spectacular if Russia hadn't been bogged down in a war and with poorly supplied troops, if the USA hadn't mobilised and ramped up up their home industries with war work. If Europe hadn't been exposed to the flu epidemic.
 
Having been taught about both the examples you mention, plus having read about them in history books I wasn't aware they were suspposed to be little known parts of our history!
As you mention in a later post, former allies become enemies; former enemies become allies and the members here may be a little more aware and knowledgeable about the past than the general public.

The issue seems to be where to draw the point on the timeline of acceptance.
 
As you mention in a later post, former allies become enemies; former enemies become allies and the members here may be a little more aware and knowledgeable about the past than the general public.

The issue seems to be where to draw the point on the timeline of acceptance.
Very true.
Most of the WW1 combatants are now friends, perhaps an irony is just how much those friendships changed in the years since 1918.

It's a shame that not everyone took the opportunity be part of the group of friend.
 
Some of the Duke Of Wellingtons best troops were the Kings German Legion who assisted greatly in kicking the crap out of the French in the Peninsular and at Waterloo. History moves on.

Only one thing remains unchanging, the right of every Englishman to take up arms against the French.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Ive always thought that we should have sided with the Hun in WW1.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
In the spirit of all this forgiveness, will Gerry Adams be attending and laying a poppy wreath ?
 
I have a new rule. Anything that Richard 'did I mention that I was supreme intergalactic space commander in Afghanistan' Kemp thinks is a bad idea is probably a bloody good thing to support.
Him and Bob facking Stewart!!
 
As this is ARRSE it's likely many of us will know this, or that the USA was good good friends with Japan in the inter war years, and that US troops trained with and did exercises with Japaneses troops in Japan.

I sometimes wonder if the change you mention from WW1 to WW2 isn't as well known by the wider public as they were never taught much (or anything) about Japan in the WW1 era.
While many younger people I've spoken to can cite the different ethos of Germany in WW1 versus WW2 many of them also think China was our enemy in WW2.

I'd say 99.9% of the public aren't even aware that Japan was a belligerent on our side in WWI, or that the Americans were war gaming a war with the British Empire in the 20's
 
I hope two things happen:

Our former colonies and dominions who contributed so much to victory in both wars are invited and send big contigents. I would like to see members of the armies of the Indian sub continent, Africa, Canada, Australia, NZ and anyone else I've forgotten marching in the parade.

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh reminding our German guest quite how determined3 the British are and how often we've fought to liberate Europe from oppressive political regimes.
My bold.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I hope two things happen:

Our former colonies and dominions who contributed so much to victory in both wars are invited and send big contigents. I would like to see members of the armies of the Indian sub continent, Africa, Canada, Australia, NZ and anyone else I've forgotten marching in the parade.

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh reminding our German guest quite how determined3 the British are and how often we've fought to prevent a united Europe
He won't put it better than Pitt the Younger:

"England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example."
 
Just for those living in the early 20th century, it isn't Hitler.
 
The Japanese were very good allies in WWI, and, their treatment of POWs was regarded as exemplary and cited as an example of how it should be done.
Which made their behaviour all the more shocking 1933-45. Indoctrinated by XRW Nationalist Bushido bollocks.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
many of them also think China was our enemy in WW2.
difficult to say what it was, but it was cetainly anti Japan. Dad was there with the RASC in 1927 through to about 1932 according to his pay book and he definitely had a lot of time for the Chinese. However given that the Nationalists and the communists were having a bit of a barney at the time, his view was they shot and asked questions later.
 

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