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BS: Christmas Truce (1914)

DigiTrad:
CHRISTMAS 1914
CHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Christmas in the Trenches (J McCutcheon) (13)
The Christmas Truce (14)
WW 1 christmas song (16) (closed)
Lyr Add: Christmas 1914 (Cormac MacConnell) (33)
Lyr Req: A Silent Night (Christmas 1915) (20)
Lyr Req: Christmas in the trenches (9)
(origins) Origins: Song about Xmas & WWI (3) (closed)
(origins) Origins: Christmas in the Trenches (69)
Xmas in the Trenches Survivor Dies (41)
Musical Question - Christmas, 1914 (14)
Lyr Req: Christmas day 1960something? / 1914 (3) (closed)
Chords Req: Christmas in the Trenches (20)
Lyr Req: Belleau Wood (Garth Brooks) (23)
Lyr Req: Christmas in the Trenches (4) (closed)


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McGrath of Harlow 04 Dec 10 - 05:54 PM
Beer 05 Feb 11 - 08:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Apr 11 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Krites 28 Dec 13 - 11:45 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 13 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Dec 13 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 13 - 11:43 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Dec 13 - 01:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Dec 13 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Dec 13 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Musket 29 Dec 13 - 05:01 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Dec 13 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 01:28 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 02:17 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 13 - 02:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 03:38 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 13 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Herr Musket 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Silas 30 Dec 13 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 05:13 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Eliza 30 Dec 13 - 07:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Silas 30 Dec 13 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 08:08 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 08:09 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 13 - 09:01 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 13 - 09:03 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 09:52 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 09:58 AM
Penny S. 30 Dec 13 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 11:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 12:15 PM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 01:06 PM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 01:32 PM
catspaw49 30 Dec 13 - 02:43 PM
Jeri 30 Dec 13 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 05:19 PM
Greg F. 30 Dec 13 - 06:32 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 01:35 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 13 - 03:53 AM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 04:20 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 13 - 05:10 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 13 - 06:10 AM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 07:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 08:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 08:39 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 13 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Musket 31 Dec 13 - 12:13 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 12:21 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 12:28 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 12:33 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 12:37 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Dec 13 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Troubadour 31 Dec 13 - 07:23 PM
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GUEST 01 Jan 14 - 03:30 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Jan 14 - 04:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jan 14 - 05:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jan 14 - 05:33 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jan 14 - 05:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jan 14 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,Eliza 01 Jan 14 - 06:12 AM
Keith A of Hertford 01 Jan 14 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Jan 14 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Musket 01 Jan 14 - 11:10 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Jan 14 - 12:13 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Jan 14 - 12:28 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jan 14 - 03:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Musket 02 Jan 14 - 04:13 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 04:24 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jan 14 - 08:03 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jan 14 - 09:22 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Musket 02 Jan 14 - 11:40 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jan 14 - 12:17 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 12:25 PM
Greg F. 02 Jan 14 - 12:28 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Well led Musket 02 Jan 14 - 12:38 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM
Greg F. 02 Jan 14 - 12:42 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jan 14 - 01:35 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 01:42 PM
KB in Iowa 02 Jan 14 - 01:46 PM
Greg F. 02 Jan 14 - 02:06 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 02:33 PM
Greg F. 02 Jan 14 - 02:54 PM
KB in Iowa 02 Jan 14 - 02:59 PM
selby 02 Jan 14 - 03:04 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 03:55 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 14 - 03:59 PM
KB in Iowa 02 Jan 14 - 04:19 PM
Jeri 02 Jan 14 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jan 14 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jan 14 - 08:04 PM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 12:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,Musket 03 Jan 14 - 02:56 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 14 - 02:59 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Musket 03 Jan 14 - 05:03 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 06:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 06:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 06:39 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 06:48 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Musket 03 Jan 14 - 08:28 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 14 - 08:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Jan 14 - 12:22 PM
KB in Iowa 03 Jan 14 - 12:45 PM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 01:03 PM
KB in Iowa 03 Jan 14 - 01:12 PM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 01:14 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 14 - 01:31 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 14 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Grishka 03 Jan 14 - 02:10 PM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jan 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Musket 03 Jan 14 - 02:40 PM
KB in Iowa 03 Jan 14 - 05:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 14 - 07:25 PM
KB in Iowa 03 Jan 14 - 07:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 14 - 08:56 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 01:10 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jan 14 - 04:44 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jan 14 - 04:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 05:24 AM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 05:53 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jan 14 - 06:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 06:43 AM
Greg F. 04 Jan 14 - 09:56 AM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 10:35 AM
KB in Iowa 04 Jan 14 - 11:28 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jan 14 - 12:17 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 12:58 PM
Greg F. 04 Jan 14 - 01:11 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 14 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Musket 04 Jan 14 - 04:44 PM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Musket 05 Jan 14 - 05:11 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 05:19 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 06:38 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Jan 14 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Musket 05 Jan 14 - 11:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 12:06 PM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 12:19 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Jan 14 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,Musket 05 Jan 14 - 01:59 PM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 02:37 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Jan 14 - 02:58 PM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Jan 14 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 05 Jan 14 - 03:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jan 14 - 08:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jan 14 - 10:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jan 14 - 10:31 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 03:58 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 04:12 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 04:18 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 04:21 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Musket 06 Jan 14 - 04:59 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 05:09 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 06:16 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 06:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 14 - 06:41 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 07:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 14 - 07:57 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 08:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 09:52 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Musket 06 Jan 14 - 11:07 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 11:11 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 12:14 PM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 12:20 PM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 12:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 14 - 02:56 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jan 14 - 04:01 PM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Jan 14 - 04:26 PM
Greg F. 06 Jan 14 - 05:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jan 14 - 05:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 03:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 03:16 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 03:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Grishka 07 Jan 14 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Musket MC 07 Jan 14 - 04:41 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 04:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 04:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 04:54 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 05:58 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 06:25 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 06:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 06:31 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 08:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 09:22 AM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 10:03 AM
Greg F. 07 Jan 14 - 10:29 AM
Allan C. 07 Jan 14 - 10:37 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 10:52 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 14 - 11:57 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Jan 14 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Musket 07 Jan 14 - 12:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jan 14 - 01:05 PM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 01:38 PM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Jan 14 - 01:44 PM
Greg F. 07 Jan 14 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Musket 08 Jan 14 - 01:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 03:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 03:40 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 04:11 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Musket 08 Jan 14 - 04:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Jan 14 - 05:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 05:57 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 06:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 07:10 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 07:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 07:24 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 07:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 08:00 AM
bobad 08 Jan 14 - 08:05 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 08:11 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Grishka 08 Jan 14 - 08:36 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 08:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 08:59 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Seaham Cemetry 08 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 10:56 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 10:59 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 11:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 11:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 11:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 11:59 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 01:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 01:38 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 01:39 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 01:54 PM
Greg F. 08 Jan 14 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 02:19 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 02:49 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 04:10 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 04:17 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 04:36 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Jan 14 - 04:38 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 04:51 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 04:57 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Jan 14 - 05:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 06:34 PM
Greg F. 08 Jan 14 - 06:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 06:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 07:51 PM
Greg F. 08 Jan 14 - 08:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 14 - 08:46 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 02:32 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 02:51 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Jan 14 - 04:02 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 04:04 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Musket 09 Jan 14 - 04:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Musket 09 Jan 14 - 07:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 07:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 07:46 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 14 - 08:17 AM
Greg F. 09 Jan 14 - 08:35 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 09:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jan 14 - 09:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 10:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jan 14 - 10:31 AM
Greg F. 09 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,keith 09 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,keith 09 Jan 14 - 10:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 14 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Musket 09 Jan 14 - 10:48 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 11:30 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Jan 14 - 11:35 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 11:50 AM
Greg F. 09 Jan 14 - 11:57 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 12:04 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 12:12 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 12:29 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 12:35 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 12:37 PM
robomatic 09 Jan 14 - 12:44 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jan 14 - 12:55 PM
Greg F. 09 Jan 14 - 01:31 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jan 14 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Musket 09 Jan 14 - 03:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 14 - 03:44 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 03:55 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 04:03 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 04:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 14 - 05:03 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jan 14 - 05:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 14 - 07:31 PM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 02:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 03:00 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Musket 10 Jan 14 - 04:38 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 05:26 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 05:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 06:09 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 07:11 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 09:46 AM
Greg F. 10 Jan 14 - 09:56 AM
Greg F. 10 Jan 14 - 09:59 AM
Greg F. 10 Jan 14 - 10:04 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 10:45 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 11:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 14 - 11:55 AM
robomatic 10 Jan 14 - 12:26 PM
Greg F. 10 Jan 14 - 12:40 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 02:30 PM
catspaw49 10 Jan 14 - 02:40 PM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 07:15 PM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jan 14 - 07:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 14 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Troubadour 10 Jan 14 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Troubadour 10 Jan 14 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Troubadour 10 Jan 14 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Musket 11 Jan 14 - 03:00 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 14 - 04:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 05:28 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 06:30 AM
catspaw49 11 Jan 14 - 06:31 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 14 - 08:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Musket 11 Jan 14 - 10:23 AM
Greg F. 11 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 10:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 10:40 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 14 - 11:00 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 11:14 AM
Greg F. 11 Jan 14 - 12:32 PM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Jan 14 - 03:19 AM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Jan 14 - 03:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Jan 14 - 03:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Jan 14 - 04:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Jan 14 - 04:53 AM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Jan 14 - 05:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Jan 14 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Musket 15 Jan 14 - 06:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Jan 14 - 07:45 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jan 14 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Musket 16 Jan 14 - 08:45 AM
Keith A of Hertford 16 Jan 14 - 10:59 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 03:42 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 04:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 05:18 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 06:19 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 06:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 06:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 06:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 07:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Musket 17 Jan 14 - 08:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 08:19 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Musket 17 Jan 14 - 10:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 10:48 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 03:03 PM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 05:42 PM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 05:47 PM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Jan 14 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Troubadour 17 Jan 14 - 06:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 14 - 07:03 PM
Keith A of Hertford 18 Jan 14 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,Musket 18 Jan 14 - 02:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 18 Jan 14 - 03:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 14 - 04:56 AM
Keith A of Hertford 18 Jan 14 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Musket 18 Jan 14 - 09:55 AM
Greg F. 18 Jan 14 - 10:31 AM
Keith A of Hertford 18 Jan 14 - 11:59 AM
Greg F. 18 Jan 14 - 12:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 14 - 01:51 PM
Keith A of Hertford 19 Jan 14 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,Musket 19 Jan 14 - 03:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 19 Jan 14 - 07:57 AM
Keith A of Hertford 20 Jan 14 - 04:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 20 Jan 14 - 04:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 04:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 04:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Jan 14 - 05:02 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 05:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Jan 14 - 06:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 07:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Jan 14 - 07:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 08:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 09:00 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 09:08 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 09:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Jan 14 - 09:22 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 09:29 AM
Greg F. 21 Jan 14 - 09:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 10:11 AM
Teribus 21 Jan 14 - 10:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 10:40 AM
Greg F. 21 Jan 14 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Musket 21 Jan 14 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jan 14 - 01:34 PM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 03:02 PM
Greg F. 21 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jan 14 - 05:49 PM
Greg F. 21 Jan 14 - 08:07 PM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Jan 14 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,Musket 22 Jan 14 - 04:56 AM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Musket practicing veracity 22 Jan 14 - 05:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Jan 14 - 05:50 AM
Greg F. 22 Jan 14 - 10:13 AM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Jan 14 - 10:55 AM
Greg F. 22 Jan 14 - 12:09 PM
Musket 22 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Jan 14 - 06:07 PM
Greg F. 22 Jan 14 - 08:09 PM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Jan 14 - 12:42 AM
Greg F. 23 Jan 14 - 09:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Jan 14 - 09:54 AM
Greg F. 23 Jan 14 - 12:39 PM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Jan 14 - 02:55 PM
Greg F. 23 Jan 14 - 06:23 PM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Jan 14 - 02:20 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 14 - 04:08 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Jan 14 - 05:14 AM
Musket 24 Jan 14 - 06:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Jan 14 - 07:56 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jan 14 - 02:39 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jan 14 - 05:34 AM
Greg F. 25 Jan 14 - 03:23 PM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Jan 14 - 05:23 PM
Greg F. 25 Jan 14 - 07:04 PM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 04:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 10:08 AM
Greg F. 26 Jan 14 - 11:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 11:32 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 11:44 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Jan 14 - 12:57 PM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Jan 14 - 02:28 PM
Greg F. 26 Jan 14 - 03:17 PM
Greg F. 26 Jan 14 - 03:20 PM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jan 14 - 04:06 PM
Greg F. 26 Jan 14 - 04:44 PM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Jan 14 - 02:27 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Jan 14 - 04:31 AM
Greg F. 27 Jan 14 - 10:00 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Jan 14 - 10:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Jan 14 - 11:01 AM
Greg F. 27 Jan 14 - 11:11 AM
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Subject: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 01:58 PM

One of the mythic events of World War I, was the 1914 Christmas Truce which began on Christmas Eve along the British and German lines around Ypres, Belgium.

While it took hold in some areas manned by the French and Belgians, it was not widespread as these nations viewed the Germans as invaders. Along the 27 miles of front manned by the British Expeditionary Force, Christmas Eve 1914 began as a normal day with firing on both sides. While in some areas firing began to slacken through the afternoon, in others it continued at its regular pace.

This impulse to celebrate the holiday season amid the landscape of war has been traced to several theories. Among these was the fact that the war was only four months old and the level of animosity between the ranks was not as high as it would be later in the war.

That's my view of it anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: open mike
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 02:16 PM

several songs memorilaize this truce...the most moving is perhaps the one by John McCutcheon called Christmas in the Trenches. There are others , too. there are most likely other threads where we have discussed this..the search box will reveal these....


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 06:52 AM

Paul McCartney's Pipes of Peace was about that I believe. Wasn't there even a brief game of football before getting back to the war?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM

That's in McCutcheon's song: And in a flare-lit football game we gave 'em hell. I can't even think of that song without crying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 10:53 PM

I would suggest to you THIS THREAD and the ones linked at the top of it for a lot of information as well as John's song and a couple of others regarding the events of that time. John McCutcheon's song "Christmas in the Trenches" is also in the DT.

This was more than "mythic" in the sense of it never happening. Not only did it happen but it was also not a single event but happened in several places and in the best known instance it also lasted a few days. The "Main Event" if you will, is best described in brief at Snopes. Lots of great stuff on the net regarding the event.

I saw a PBS or Discovery program awhile back about a place where relatives of the men often go to celebrate the event......Wish I could remember where or what it was on...................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Beer
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 11:41 PM

I don't like your take on the past events. In fact i wonder if you believe that the WW2 happened.
ad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: GUEST,Amergin
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:41 AM

I can see it now......"One of the mythic events in World War II was the Holocaust...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:06 AM

Myth?
No, it happened and is well documented.
Mike Hardings 'Christmas 1914' is one of the better songs about ths event.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: EBarnacle
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:10 AM

If there are no remaining survivors, does that mean it never happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: saulgoldie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:33 AM

Yes, Joe F, and try playing it! After over a hundred times, I am still never sure I will get alltheway through it...unless I treat it like "just another song," which, of course, it is not.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: open mike
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 11:27 AM

here is mike harding's song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujJD122Yd9U

here are many links to the truce
http://faculty.fullerton.edu/bstarr/CHRISTMAS%20TRUCE%20LINKS.htm

here is the public radio program from 2007
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/12/20/christmastruce/


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: eddie1
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:46 AM

The OP has remained strangely silent.
There has been plenty of documentation of the truce which in some parts of the front lasted several days.

Before anyone points to my lack of references, I don't remember where but somewhere I read that an attempt was made by the War Department to hush the whole thing up as they reckoned it would have a "bad effect on morale" if soldiers reckoned "on each end of the rifle we're the same."

Seems that nearly a hundred years later this propaganda has worked on one person anyway!

Eddie


    The lesson is that you should pay no heed to the original poster, and should not even hint at challenging him/her to combat. -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:08 AM

The OP may have misused the term "mythic" -- I don't believe that he intended to say that it did not happen, but to add some detail.

Cut him some slack, folks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 11:11 AM

Well if Mike Harding wrote a song about it, it must be true !
There was no agreed ceasefire. It is a case that if anything is posted on the Internet, it must be true! Like a magical book that makes anything written in it come true, so is the Internet. Anything that someone posts to the Internet, instantly comes true.

I see some small print appeared above, Such a pity our Forum Moderator wasn't as quick to remove posts by another member who wants me to die a slow death and in pain, see "BS: 800,000 Americans to lose UnEmp. Benefit"
Then again, I am not a member of the Inner Sanctum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:06 PM

Hi Richie.

Can we just clear up the question? Are you saying that it did not happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:10 PM

Cormac McConnell's 'Christmas 1914' is another song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

Silas, people believe the fighting stopped along the lines on Christmas day and everyone hugged eachother and played football, it's simply not true.

The facts.

24 December 1914, Christmas Eve
The weather changes to a hard frost. This makes trench conditions a little more bearable. 98 British soldiers die on this day, many are victims of sniper fire. A German aeroplane drops a bomb on Dover: the first air raid in British history. During the afternoon and early evening, British infantry are astonished to see many Christmas trees with candles and paper lanterns, on enemy parapets. There is much singing of carols, hymns and popular songs, and a gradual exchange of communication and even meetings in some areas. Many of these meetings are to arrange collection of bodies. In other places, firing continues. Battalion officers are uncertain how to react; in general they maintain precautions. The night brings a clear, still air with a hard frost.


25 December 1914, Christmas Day

Burial
Men of 20th Brigade bury their dead of the attack of 18 December, alongside German soldiers engaged in the same activity. Christmas Day, 1914.
Units behind the lines attend church services and have in most cases arranged Christmas dinners which are taken in barns and shattered buildings. In the front lines, the fraternisation of Christmas Eve is continued throughout the day; not all units know about it, and it is not universal but is widespread over at least half of the British front. Many bodies that have been lying out in no man's land are buried, some in joint burials. Many men record the strange and wonderful events; may men exchange tokens or addresses with German soldiers, many of whom speak English. 81 British soldiers die on this day; a few die in areas that are otherwise peaceful and with fraternisation going on, victims of alert snipers. In other areas, there is considerable activity: 2nd Grenadier Guards suffer losses in a day of heavy fighting. As night fell, things grew quiet as men fell back to their trenches to take whatever Christmas meal that had been provided for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:51 PM

So it did happen then. So glad we could agree on something at last.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:54 PM

No, there was no widespread truce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:03 PM

See also the song "I'm Dreaming of Home" from the film Joyeaux Noel.
Both are great.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:05 PM

Ahhh.....

I see the word 'widespread' has crept into the conversation. Interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM

There was no official truce, yes soldiers were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along parts of the Western Front, but there was no truce. In fact you may be surprised at the causality list for christmas day 1914 on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, along the Western Front.

The fraternisation was not, however, without its risks; many soldiers were shot by opposing forces.In each of the following years of the war, artillery bombardments were ordered to start on Christmas Eve to ensure that there were no further lulls in the combat.

The incidents recalled by romantics in irrevocably mythologized songs and film were in fact nothing more than a 'blip'.

Romantics assert that the Truce was an effort by normal men to bring about an end to the slaughter. Well the causality lists for 1914 - 18 will answer that for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:52 PM

No one has even remotely suggested that there was an official Christmas truce, the very idea is laughable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:10 PM

Es gab keinen Weihnachtswaffenstillstand oder Waffenruhe Silas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:39 PM

Sie haben bereits erklärt, dass dort war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 05:54 PM

Here is a piece about the death, in 2001, of the last survivor of a similar truce that happened in 1915.

"Silent Night, barely 100 yards away, encouraged the British to respond with Good King Wenceslas. The following day, there was an impromptu kick-about with a football.

This seasonal fraternisation apparently went on for about half an hour, until brought to an abrupt end by a furious British officer, who ordered his men back to the trenches, telling them. in no uncertain terms, the brutal truth of their situation. namely that they were there "to kill the Hun, not make friends with him".


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Beer
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 08:57 AM

Speaking about a documented event, I just finished reading an old book I came across titled "The Great War as I Saw It, by Canon Frederick George Scott, C.M.G., D.S.O." Late Senior Chaplain , First Canadian Division, C.E.F." Copyright, Canada, 1922.

Here are a few excerpt from Chapter 9 titled "Our First Christmas in France".

Taking my bag with communion vessels and as many hymn books as I could carry , I was motored over on Christmas Eve to the 3rd Brigade headquarters at Petit Moncque Farm. Further up the line there was a barn known as St. Quentin's Farm, which for some reason or other, although it was in sight of the enemy, had not been demolished. I was determined therefore to have a service of Holy Communion at midnight (this they did and sang Christmas songs as well.).
The next morning (being Christmas) the rains had let up and it was a beautiful sunny day. The men were in high spirits and shaking hands with the words "Merry Christmas".

The Colonel had given the orders to the men not to fire on the enemy that day unless they fired on us. The Germans had evidently come to the same resolution. Early in the morning some of them had come over to our wire and left two bottles of beer behind as a peace offering. I actually got out into "No Mans land" and wandered down it. Many Christmas parcels had arrived and the men were making merry with their friends ( and so on.).
Not long after midnight , once again the pounding of the old war was resumed, and as I went to bed in the dugout that night, I felt from what a sublime height the world had dropped. We had two more war Christmases in France, but I always look back upon that first one as something unique in its beauty and simplicity.

When I stood on the Parapet that day looking at the Germans in their trenches, and thought how two great nations were held back for a time in their fierce struggle for supremacy, by their devotion to a little Child born in a stable in Bethlehem two thousand years before, I felt that there was still promise of a regenerated world. The Angels had not sung in vain their wonderful hymn "Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace, Good Will towards men".

Christmas has passed but I couldn't help reviving this thread when I read this by a man of the cloth and published in 1922.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 07:41 AM

famous WW1 cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather was present at the 1914 "christmas truce" His most famous cartoon 'Well, if you knows a better 'ole, go to it',

Bruce Bairnsfather and Old Bill scroll down to The Christmas Truce of 1914 for photo & drawing -

"A complete Boche figure suddenly appeared on the parapet and looked about. This complaint became infectious. It didn't take 'Our Bert' long to be up on the skyline. This was a signal for more Boche anatomy to be disclosed, and this was replied to by all our Alfs and Bills, until, in less time than it takes to tell, half a dozen or so of each of the belligerents were outside the trenches, and were advancing towards each other in no-man's land.

So writes Bruce Bairnsfather about the Christmas Truce of 1914. This event was an outbreak of spontaneous fraternization between troops almost entirely concentrated in the British sector on the south edge of the Ypres Salient. Contact was in varying degrees from exchanging smokes, chatting or playing football in No-Mans-Land, to sharing meals and dinner gossip in the opponents trenches. It occurred less frequently where one or both of the opposing formations were elite or hard-edged types. From its occurrence, the Christmas Truce has been looked upon as a symbol of a humanity not yet submerged by the mechanical forces of industrial-age warfare. With its ability to inspire and hold the imagination of later generations, the Legend of the Christmas Truce might be looked upon as a rare positive outcome of the Great War.

Those present, however, like Bairnsfather, premier cartoonist of the First World War and creator of "Old Bill" , were decidedly less sentimental about it. His account above of the unauthorized truce is widely quoted, but no one ever adds what he wrote a few paragraphs later:

"There was not an atom of hate that day and yet, on our side, not for a moment was the will to war and the will to beat them relaxed It was just like the interval between rounds in a friendly boxing match.' [Author's italics.]

I bought a copy of one of his WW1 booklets on the weekend & went searching for more info on his life & found this.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Krites
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 11:45 AM

Saw the film "Joyeux Noel" recently, late at night, British television (not, I think, BBC). Degree of artifice, of course; truce involving German, French, and Scottish ("but we're no English, we're Scottish"), and many excellent humanitarian, religious, and political points conveyed smoothly and convincingly, as part of narrative. Joyeux Annee


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 12:30 PM

"Well the causality lists for 1914 - 18 will answer that for you."
Over which "normal men" had no control whatever (unless they followed the Russian example and pissed of home.
Dissenton and disobedience were serious crimes and carried extreme penalties
Jim Carroll

"When acting as a sentinel on active service sleeping at his post -        Death
By discharging firearms negligently occasioning false alarms in camp         - Cashiering or imprisonment
Causing a mutiny in the forces, or endeavouring to persuade persons in HM forces to join in a mutiny - Death
Striking his superior officer - Death
Offering violence or using threatening language to his superior officer - Penal servitude
Disobeying in such a manner as to show a wilful defiance of authority, a lawful command given personally by his superior officer - Death
Disobeying a lawful command given by his superior officer - Penal servitude
When concerned in a quarrel, refusing to obey an officer who ordered him into arrest        - Cashiering
Striking a person in whose custody he was placed - Cashiering or imprisonment
Deserting HM service, or attempting to desert - Death"


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 09:22 AM

My old dad (whose father fought in the Great War) would bang on about the fraternisation in the trenches. He was disgusted at the very idea, and used to say one should make up one's mind - are we at war with these people or not? If so, one can hardly treat them as mates for a few hours, Christmas or not. Every individual combatant has a family and a mum who loves him. But collectively they are a killing machine. Kill or be killed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 11:43 AM

Wars are not instigated by people - they are instigated by politicians and businessmen (who tend not to risk their lives by fighting) - the people who fight them and are slaughtered don't get a vote as to who "their enemy" is (or any other choice in the matter).
It would be idealistic to think that things will ever be different, but I find it heartwarming to remember that, for a few hours, han beings recognised others as fellow-human beings and not an "enemy" somebody had invented for the rest of us to die for.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 01:54 PM

Not relevant to Britain in 1914.
They were faced with aggressive, invading German armies rampaging across Europe towards the English Channel, massacring civilians and children as they went.

No-one chose that implacable enemy.
They just had to deal with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 02:07 PM

Remember where the German armies were at Xmas 1914.
Where would they have been had they not been stopped at huge cost and sacrifice by the Allied forces?

It was nice that they stopped trying to push deeper into France and Belgium on Xmas day, and nice that the allies could stop resisting them.
It would have been nicer had they returned to their own borders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 04:27 PM

I agree, Keith. They were not 'fellow human beings' but deadly, encroaching enemies. War is always horrific, but our forces had to stop the Germans or they'd have invaded Britain too. I tend to think my old dad (and his dad, who was there) were right, you just cannot 'fraternise' with the enemy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 05:01 PM

Any evidence of German army murdering children as they went Keith? Any evidence they were told anything different to our army ?

Do you think in terms of fraternising with the enemy, that German officers and British officers dealt with Xmas 1914 any differently? For any different reason?

As people are people, how can it be that German soldiers appear to be under the influence of propaganda whilst our soldiers appear to just have raw facts?

Tell you what, the idea that you need truth in The UK and lies if you are German on order to carry out the same job is about as stupid as it gets. Yes, their wish for empire was a Kaiser induced stupidity. Their wish to mimic the British was tragic.

Pity we had an empire to defend when you think about it. Soldiers had been used to create carnage in the empire. We put Boers in concentration camps. Perhaps telling our soldiers the truth wasn't quite as clear cut as you and other apologists make out after all...


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 05:20 PM

Yes Musket.
Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered.
It is well documented, and again you demonstrate your profound ignorance of basic facts.
Had they not committed the massacres they would still be aggressive invaders who had to be stopped.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:28 AM

"If it happened, I am sure I would have heard of it."

Keith A Hole of Hertford



You don't perchance have a list of all the names of the 6000 civilians do you? Is this part of what the UK soldiers were told at the time or what we have been told subsequently ? Who verified the atrocities? More importantly, who made the accusations? Any word about what German people were told about our soldiers' behaviour?

This was about German soldiers with a similar lifestyle and outlook to our own. Far too easy to compare to the Nazis, who not only came later, but were a rather international axis.

Must be great to read so much on a subject. I suggest enlarging your library.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:17 AM

Muppet, I could quote historians, but you don't believe them.
You could make a pilgrimage to the memorials and mass graves in Belgium.
Here is a Wiki piece that Jim Carrol posted.
Wiki.
The Rape of Belgium is the usual historical term regarding the treatment of civilians during the 1914-18 German invasion and occupation of Belgium. The term initially had a propaganda use but recent historiography confirms its reality.[1] One modern author uses it more narrowly to describe a series of German war crimes in the opening months of the War (4 August through September 1914).[2]
The neutrality of Belgium had been guaranteed by the Treaty of London (1839), which had been signed by Prussia. However the German Schlieffen Plan required that German armed forces violate Belgium's neutrality in order to outflank the French Army, concentrated in eastern France. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 as a "scrap of paper".[3] Throughout the beginning of the war the German army engaged in numerous atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium, and destruction of civilian property; 6,000 Belgians were killed, 25,000 homes and other buildings in 837 communities destroyed. 1,500,000 Belgians (20% of the entire population) fled from the invading German army.[4]:13


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:55 AM

"Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered."
You've brought your nutty jingoistic theories to this thread .
The mass-murder of children, defiling of nuns, the "rape of poor little Belgium" were exaggerations of genuine but grossly overstated accounts of events that were taking place at the beginning of WW1 - covered in full and totally ignored or denied by you previously.
Yes - some children were killed, yes, there were some accounts of women being raped - historically shown as having been deliberately exaggerated to persuade Britons - from schoolboys to young men in their bloom of youth, to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Empire.
The "poor little" Belgian regime (over whom you and past jingoists (deservedly ancient history now) claim were one of the main reasons for the war) were responsible for the deliberate murder of ten million colonial Africans in the Belgian Congo only a handful of years prior to the outbreak of war; the world didn't lift a finger to intervene - proven documented fact.
Eighteen months after the war began the lies and exaggerations were accepted by Britons as just that, the recruiting campaign was admitted to have totally failed, and stringently enforced enlistment was introduced.
All this has been fully documented, presented with evidence on the other sad-sad thread, and only rejected by one fanatic who has never read a book on the War and who has hidden behind half-digested snippets from a historical journalist seeking to achieve a career boost in the forthcoming centenary 'celebrations'.
World War One has been long regarded as the deliberate and cynical slaughter of the world's youth by Empires seeking to gain and maintain dominance for their markets
British-French-German-Belgian-American-Russian... working people were sentenced to die in the mud of Europe for political and economic masters who stayed at home in comfort and egged them on with their white feathers and their promises of a short war, good pay and conditions, honour and glory - and a "War To End All Wars.
Voluntary recruitment ceased in 1916, a year later the Russian workers and peasants walked away from the front and kicked out the monarchy that sent them there.
At the end of the War German workers attempted to do the same - and failed - the German warmongers were left in charge, re-armed and the whole bloody mess was allowed to start up all over again.
The history books are full of this stuff - not just the tiny handful of newbies with their eyes on the main chance - this is the history that has been taught in schools since the fall of the British Empire.
Please don't allow this thread to be taken over by one single flag-waving fanatic who has described the recorded experiences of W.W.1. soldiers as "lies" "revisionism" and "romanticism".
Some time next year the BBC is embarking on a series of programmes planned to last for several years, outlining the history of WW1 from all angles.
It will be interesting to see the part a dissenting historical journalist will play in the planning of those programmes.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 03:38 AM

Are you disputing that "Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered." ?

It is easily verified from numerous sources.
I challenge and defy you to find one single authoritative source that disputes it.
Be aware that atrocities were committed in France also.

I too am looking forward to the coverage of WW1 by BBC and others.
I am afraid that you are going to hate it Jim.
You already have seen many extracts from the BBC History site that I have posted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:25 AM

I am denying nothing whatever - I am saying what I have said throughout - that the War had nothing to do with "Gallant Little Belgium" or the greatly exaggerated atrocities that undoubtedly occurred - it was an Imperial war - a war for political and economic dominance and was always referred to as such.
That fact eventually led to the fall of the system of empires
You have decided which authorities are have rejected those which don't support your Colonel Blimpism - call them liars and revisionists - even those who served in the war and wrote about it extremely movingly - Graves, Sassoon... and those "lying" soldiers who returned traumatised and disgusted at what they had been tricked into - all "liars".
If humanitarianism had featured in any way in the thinking of the dinosaurs who ran the world in those days the powers that be would have intervened to stop the systematic slaughter of ten million Congolese by "Gallant Little Belgium" - they were fully aware of the events taking place in the Congo and never raised a murmur of protest - 10,000,000 human beings systematically murdered and not a single statement of protest by Britain, the US, France..... why - you have not once responded to these crimes?
Come off it Keith - the Empire is dead and its crimes and atrocities are now fully acknowledged except by those of you who yearn for the "days of greatness".
You've had legitimate evidence in volumes - you have rejected it all because it doesn't fit with the pathetic little scoops of the opinions of a military journalist - sop do not claim that nobody has given you anything in return for you historically out-dated rantings,
For you - the war is over Tommy
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Herr Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM

Dateline Munich. 2013.

Wolfgang! Do you have any evidence that the tommies tied children to the mouths of cannons?


zzzzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM

Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered in Belgium, and more in France.
That is a fact and people were influenced by it, but Britain went to war because we had a treaty to defend Belgium, and Belgium and France were invaded, and our own security threatened.

I have not rejected any historians. No dissenting ones have emerged.
I have read Graves and Sassoon and Owen.
Of course they are not liars, but neither were they typical or representative.

You are now rehashing the current WW1 thread arguments on this thread.
Why?
This one is about the Xmas truce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:03 AM

I'm with Jim on his one - he is spot on.

I was researching the death of my great uncle who died in 1917 at Perrone. He and and many of his comrades were killed whilst sleeping in a hut by a german shell. I was astonished and quite moved to discover that the german soldiers hadthe decency to actually bury the british dead rather than just leave them to rot.

The ordinary soldier, german or ally was just a soldier. Not an animal or monster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:13 AM

Dateline Her Majesty's Britannic England.

This just in.

Those who were there are not representative or typical.

The ex editor of a British tabloid who wasn't born till many years after the armistice apparently is.

This is not spilling over from the armistice thread. The Xmas truce was an example of why you simply cannot say British Good Soldier, German Bad Soldier. Atrocities were carried out by both sides, in the names of respective armies. Earl Haig wasn't called the butcher of the Somme because he ensured the soldiers got roast beef on a Sunday...


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:20 AM

All sides buried enemy dead with respect.
Soldiers are just ordinary people in uniform.
German soldiers could not refuse to obey their orders.
Who called Haig "butcher" and who still does?
What has any of this to do with the Xmas truce?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 07:27 AM

Historians still call him the butcher of the Somme.

The BBC does.

I hear that there are people living in Hertford who do.

I am also aware that he instructed snipers in subsequent years to be deployed in areas they weren't normally in, to prevent Germans from calling Xmas truces and ordered officers to treat attempts by our lads to truce as insubordination.

Hence the relevance to this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 07:54 AM

Whether the Germans were models of compassion or hideous monsters, they were nevertheless marching on towards our shores in attack mode and had to be stopped. Fraternising with them was bad for morale and dangerous for security. That's why military commanders throughout the ages have wisely forbidden it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 08:06 AM

Historians still call him the butcher of the Somme.
Which?
Any living ones?

The BBC does.

Really?
Not on its History site. It specifically says the jibe is not justified.
I am guessing that you will not be able to produce any example, so why the claim?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 08:07 AM

Well, they wern't actually marching towards our shore. Both sides demonise the enemy, always have done. There is no such thing as a 'gentlemans war', and the british, over the centuries have as bad a record or in some cases worse record than anyone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 08:08 AM

Too true Eliza.

I think the point is though, that commanders on both sides didn't want fraternising as, regardless of political intentions of their leaders and indeed monarchs, both sides whipped up jingoism with propaganda regarding the behaviour of the other side.

For every story of German atrocities in nunneries, there were German stories of our lads evicting French towns for strategic purposes and putting the residents in concentration camps. Pictures of our concentration camps in The Transvaal were used to reinforce the view.

We don't know how much to believe, how much to take with a pinch of salt or indeed where the stories began.

Unless you visit the library in Hertford which appears to have a very definitive set of stories judging by the assertions of one of the residents.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 08:09 AM

Your claim about snipers seems nonsensical.
They were deployed all along the line anyway.
Why would they need moving?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 09:01 AM

"Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered in Belgium, and more in France."
Ten million Congolese non combatants were massacred by the Belgians in peacetime - the world did nothing - why should the world go to war over 6,000 deaths in wartime?
Just as the world stood silent then, you refuse to acknowledge that this consequence of Empire happened.
It is never the people who cause the wars who have to go out to fight them.
Wartime atrocities are the consequences of all wars, by both sides, they are never the causes of them
World War One - its reasons, the manner in which it was conducted and the carefully calculated loss of life was an atrocity in itself.
The sheer bestiality of sending men into face-to-face combat over pieces of strategically valueless territory and calculating each yard of advance by the expendable number of men is an atrocity.
These facts are now a fully accepted part of our history, whatever your career journalists may claim.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 09:03 AM

This appears to have transformed itself into another of Keith's campaigns that won't be over by next Christmas - just like that last one, which appears to be still slithering along in rude health.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 09:52 AM

Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered in Belgium, and more in France.
That is a fact and people were influenced by it, but Britain went to war because we had a treaty to defend Belgium, and Belgium and France were invaded, and our own security threatened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 09:58 AM

These facts are now a fully accepted part of our history, whatever your career journalists may claim.

I have only cited professional historians.
Can you name one who accepts those "facts" about WW1?
Why not Jim?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Penny S.
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 11:08 AM

There were those on our side who would not care for wounded German POWs in our field hospitals.
Source, my grandfather, an orderly in those hospitals. There were orderlies who would not go into the "German" tent.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 11:37 AM

Differentiating between living and dead historians are we? I suppose dead ones can't be persuaded to rewrite history. Alan Clark may have been a Tory twit of the first order and a bit of a shagger to boot, but strange that nobody questioned his history books till rather recently.

There is a bit of a concerted effort to rewrite the history of WW1 to make us look well led angels and the Germans look like an earlier version of the Nazis.

The resiting of snipers at Xmas time is well documented. I read it in an article in The Week over Xmas in fact. The orders to prevent the men from fraternising with the enemy are mentioned in the sources Keith clings dearly to.

His rose tinted testicles seem to be selective as well as inaccurate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 12:15 PM

Obviously fraternising was forbidden.
Are you suggesting there is some kind of conspiracy among living historians to lie about their findings?
That sounds a bit mad.
It is mad.
Are you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 12:54 PM

Are you quite sure you saw that sniper thing in The Week?
Which issue?
How did moving snipers prevent fraternising?
How would they know where to put them?
How would they know they were not best placed already?
It takes time to prepare a hide, so how long in advance?
It sounds a bit made up.
I have never heard of such a thing.
Why do you say it is "well documented" ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:06 PM

Xmas edition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:32 PM

Have you still got it.
Are you really sure?

Do they answer any of these questions?

How did they stop the snipers fraternising?
How did moving snipers prevent fraternising?
How would they know where to put them?
How would they know they were not best placed already?
It takes time to prepare a hide, so how long in advance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:43 PM

If the folks on both sides in the trenches in 1914 would have analyzed all this as much as you people, they'd have all shot themselves. It was a bit of a break in a war that changed the way war was carried on. Everyone was just learning about the newer weapons and the means in which they used them.

Y'all will fight over whether gnat shit or ant shit smells worse.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:47 PM

Yeah, and they'll infest an otherwise OK thread to fight. I keep hoping somebody will float the idea of a suicide pact...


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:19 PM

Absolutely no idea. I read something. You reckon I didn't. That makes you a fucking weird nutter.

You see them get on buses around here you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 06:32 PM

Ain't either, 'Spaw - its termite shit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 01:35 AM

Musket, have you forgotten what it said already?
If it said Haig ordered snipers to be shifted around, it must have said how that would stop fraternising?
Why do you say the practice was "well documented?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 03:53 AM

"I have only cited professional historians."
You might do a little better if you actually read a couple of them instead of scrambling round the web and selecting the first thing that comes to hand to back up your jingoistic claims - and rejecting all the information that doesn't.
Your main informant, Max Hastings, is not a qualified historian, he is a journalist with an interest in World War One - his official entry in the Cambridge Biographical dictionary gives him as a "British writer, journalist and broadcaster" - no mention of him being a "historian".
If he is a "historian" he is a self-appointed one with no academic qualifications whatever.
His main claim to being a "historian" is by being a fellow of the Royal Historical Society - an organisation described thus:
"The Royal Historical Society (RHS), founded in 1868, is a United Kingdom society existing to promote and defend the scholarly study of the past. The Society is based at University College London. One strand of the Society's roots can be traced back to the 1838 foundation of the Camden Society, which merged with the Royal Historical Society in 1896."
There is no record of his having any academic historical qualifications whatever.
On the basis on the words of a 'historical journalist' writing nearly a century after the event you have attempted to turn history on its head.
You described the findings of B.H. Liddell Hartas as "revisionist" - Hart's track record reads thus:

"On the outbreak of World War I in 1914 Liddell Hart volunteered to become an officer in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He fought on the Western Front. Liddell Hart's front line experience was relatively brief, confined to two short spells in the autumn and winter of 1915, being sent home from the front after suffering concussive injuries from a shell burst. He was promoted to the rank of captain. He returned to the front for a third time in 1916, in time to participate in the Battle of the Somme. He was hit three times without serious injury before being badly gassed and sent out of the line on July 18, 1916.[4] His battalion was nearly wiped out on the first day of the offensive, a part of the 60,000 casualties suffered in the heaviest single day's loss in British history. The experiences he suffered on the Western Front profoundly affected him for the rest of his life.[5] Transferred to be Adjutant to Volunteer units in Stoud and Cambridge, he spent a great deal of time training new units.[6] During this time he wrote a several booklets on infantry drill and training, which came to the attention of General Sir Ivor Maxse. After the war he transferred to the Army Educational Corps and was given the opportunity to prepare a new edition of the Infantry Training Manual. In this manual Liddell Hart strove to instill the lessons of 1918, and carried on a correspondence with Maxse, a commanding officer during the Battle of Hamel and the Battle of Amiens.[7] These battles provided a practical demonstration of tactics for attacking an entrenched enemy."

You have rejected the opinions of soldiers who fought in WW1 (described as "liars and romantics" by you) - of other long-term and fully qualified historians - on the word of a Daily Mail columnist (his current main occupation).
Can you please go and read something for yourself and not continually hide behind a few cut-'n-pastes taken from a few much condensed articles posted on the net - Hastings is a self-appointed historical journalist - he is not a Historian - if anything, his claim to being a "historian" is an honourary one - sort of like the Beatles being given honourary fellowships at Oxford.
Even the review of his book on World War One by a fully qualified historian - in a fully recognised history publication - points out that, of the three books on the subject, Clifford's was "the weakest on the causes of World War One" - his interest in the subject centres around Military Tactics - (the boom - boom, bang-bang side of military journalism much beloved by all journalists - especially the tabloid ones like Clifford).
Clifford is not a historian, he is a journalist with an interest in military strategy and tactics.
Whether his interest qualifies him to challenge the findings of real historians remains to be seen - we will never know by scooping up convenient, out-of-context cut-'n-pastes to defend a somewhat quaintly out-of-date analysis of WW1.
ONCE AGAIN, PLEASE GO AND READ UP ON THE SUBJECTS YOU CHOOSE TO DOMINATE WITH YOUR IGNORANCE - THIS IS THE UMPTEENTH ONE YOU WILL HAVE DRIVEN INTO THE GROUND IF YOU ARE ALLOWED TO DO SO YET AGAIN   
Your nonsense stopped being taught when the sun set on the British Empire.
Even the official propaganda of the time made it quite clear why World War One was fought "For King and Country" - the official slogan.
There was never a question of Britain being involved for any other reason than self-interested motives of Empire - certainly not to come to the assistance of a nation led by genocidal mass murderers - that's what "Gallant Little Belgium" was - and that's official - not a matter of opinion!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 04:20 AM

Hastings is just one of the historians I cited.
(He has one prestigious awards fro his military history work, and as you say he is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.)
If it was only him, you would have a case Jim, but remember all those other professional and academic historians who say the same.
You can find no living historian.

I have rejected nothing, but the people you mention were simply not representative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 05:10 AM

Clifford is not a historian - he is a historical journalist
Your main argument is based on the word of a tabloid journalist
Go away and read a book
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 06:10 AM

Sorry - I meant Hastings - all tabloid journalists look the same to me.
You are now entering all of threads you insist on dominating, not on your own knowledge, but solely on the supposed arguments of "experts" - you bring neither information, or even interest of your own, and when you are driven into all the corners you have been, you scurry behind supposed expertise of others - offering no defence of your own.
When you make your horrific "all male Pakistanis "are implanted perverts you invented statements from so-called experts who never made such a statement, and would have been prosecuted under the race hatred laws if they had.
You based much of your Irish Famine arguments on an "expert" who was saying the opposite to what you were claiming, and swept aside all other arguments as "revisionist" and "tainted by prejudice"
Your entire defence of the Israeli Government is based on the Official Israeli Government line, and you have admitted as much.
You are doing exactly the same here - coming with no fore-knowledge and making your argument purely on so-called "expertise" and "authority" of people who have no more right than the establshed historians (not to mention the soldiers you have dismissed as "liars" and "romantics" to be believed.
Until you show an interest in these subjects enough to have some knowledge of your own - enough to have read a book on the subject at least - you will continue to wreck thread after thread, as yo have done, with your ignorance and your desire to get across your extremist message, and in doing so, you maker these subjects little more than a platform for ideas that often show little different than the views of scum like the B.N.P.
If you want to be taken seriously and not just "Oh no, it's that nutter again" figure that you have become - fro crying out loud, read up on these topics - show some interest in them - stop bringing pre-set ideas and then attempting to substantiate them with quich raids on the web.
Stop behaving like a moron and stop treating the rest of us as if we were ignorant idiots.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 07:36 AM

These are the historians quoted in this discussion.
Richard Holmes, Peter Hart, David Stephenson, Fritz Fischer, Dan Todman, Gary Sheffield, Max Hastings, Malcolm Brown, Stuart Halifax, Catriona Pennel, Margaret MacMillan:

Gary Sheffield is an historian by any description, and he described Hastings as "Britain's leading military historian."

Forget Hastings and my case is still rock-solid.
You still can not find one living historian to support your case.
You are going to have a miserable 4 years as all those historians appear in the media saying just what I said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 08:20 AM

Musket, what is on the front cover of your "Xmas edition?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 08:39 AM

Never mind Musket.
Here is your article.
http://theweek.com/article/index/254362/the-christmas-truce

No mention of Haig.
No mention of moving snipers or any such made up nonsense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:01 PM

"These are the historians quoted in this discussion."
To repeat - Max Hastings is not a historian - he is a journalist for a tabloid newspaper with an interest in military history.
What are you trying to mislead us about his qualifications - it is you who has insisted throughout that we can only believe the evidence of "real historians"
These are the "historians you have cited and have demanded that we abandon everything we believe and reject all the long standing and established historians.
None of them (apart from the tabloid journalist who you keep insisting is a historian, backs your arguments in any way, and even if they did, you have given no reason why their words is any better than anybody else's.
It certainly give you no grounds for claiming that the veterans whose experiences you have rejected out of hand were lying as you disgustingly accused them of - Tommy Kenny, Partrick McGill, Siegfried Sassoon, Liddell- Hart..... surely sewer-level, even by your appalling standards
You are the one who has constantly hidden behind "qualified historians" - now go and find some proper ones who back your case and can be trusted
Jim Carroll

Richard Holmes, Peter Hart, David Stephenson, Fritz Fischer, Dan Todman, Gary Sheffield, Max Hastings, Malcolm Brown, Stuart Halifax, Catriona Pennel, Margaret MacMillan:

Peter Hart specialised in Ireland and the IRA – no mention of WW1 in his CV
Richard Holmes is an establishment military historian with no speciality in World War One other than to present visual images of warfare in general
In June 1991 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Queen, holding the post until February 1997.[16][17] In January 1994 he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Southampton University Officer Training Corps,[18] and in that February, he was appointed Brigadier TA at Headquarters Land Command.[19] In 1995, he became Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield.[6]
From 1997 until his retirement in 2000, Holmes was Director Reserve Forces and Cadets, as well as having the distinguished honour of being Britain's senior serving reservist.[20] In the 1998 New Year Honours he was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) (Military Division).[21] From September 1999 to 1 February 2007 he was Colonel of the Regiment of thePrincess of Wales's Royal Regiment (successor to The Queen's and Royal Hampshire Regiments).[22] On 19 September 2000 he was awarded the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.[23]

Fritz Fisher:
claimed that WW1 came out of Imperial expansionism on the part of Germany – ie – it was an Imperial war (as I have been saying – nothing else)
Dan Todman took his degree in economics – he taught history at Sandhurst – he is an establishment historian who taught on behalf of the British army - his career depends on his presenting the British army in the best light

Gary Sheffield agrees with Fisher that the war was an Imperialist conflict - a response to Germany's rocking the Imperial boat.
His main interest is the conduct of the war – not its causes

Max Hastings is a tabloid journalist

Malcolm Brown - no CV available – not the noted or particularly well-known historian you have been demanding from the rest of us

Stuart Halifax does not respond to any searches – a totally unknown historian.

Cartiona Pennell has written only about the British and Irish responses to the aftermath of WW1 – nowhere is there any evidence that her knowledge and opinions extend further.

I am a historian of 19th and 20th century British and Irish history with a particular focus on the social and cultural history of the First World War and British imperial activity in the Middle East since the 1880s. I am intrigued by the experiences of ordinary people and communities in global war, as well as the on-going (and often bloody) relationship between current conflict and the past, particularly in Ireland, Lebanon, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
I am also very interested in the relationship between war, experience, and memory.

"Pennell, Catriona (2012). A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland."

And last, but not least -
Margaret McMillan
Who wrote
"Europe did not have to go to war in the summer of 1914. MacMillan's skill as both a historian and a storyteller is to bring her narrative into a kind of slow-motion where we witness a horrible accident taking place before our very eyes. "Very little in history is inevitable," she surmises coolly. "Yet in 1914 Europe did walk over the cliff into a catastrophic conflict which was going to kill millions of its men, bleed its economies dry, shake empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermine Europe's dominance of the world. The photographs of cheering crowds in the great capitals are misleading."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:13 PM

Not the full article but even the short non subscription version you supplied does indeed talk of both sides ordering snipers to discourage fraternisation over Xmas. The full version goes into more detail but never mind, you make yourself look pathetic enough posting a link that proves your " liar !" shit yo be what it is. Shit.

Try reading before being so quick to make yourself look good.



Of course , just as with white feathers, executions and the rest, we don't need the snipers specifically for Xmas if the soldiers are all there with their eyes wide open to the truth, do we?


zzzz


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:21 PM

If top historians say Hastings is our "leading military historian" why should anyone care what your opinion of him is!

"Stuart Halifax does not respond to any searches – a totally unknown historian."
That is funny Jim.
It was YOU who posted an extract of his work, which turned out to support my views not yours!
Remember now?
Search for Stuart HaLLifax.


Have you found one living historian who supports your views yet?
Why not Jim?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:28 PM

Google the text for source.


Peter Hart.
"But when I started the detailed research I began to realise that our communal understanding of the whole of the First World War has a strangely 'unfinished' aspect to it; why have the great battles of the earlier years seemed so futile in the public imagination and why are British High Command so denigrated?"



The late Richard Holmes was another.
From his obit.
Forty years on, in his book Tommy (2004), Holmes continued to repudiate the view, promoted by the war poets, that the troops of the First World War were poorly led. He also re-examined the enduring legends about the prevalence of shellshock, drunkenness in the trenches, and soldiers shot at dawn for cowardice or desertion, pointing out that 90 per cent of death sentences were commuted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:33 PM

Military historian Malcolm Brown wrote a book I have about the Somme.
The famous historian Richard Holmes said of it in The Times Literary Supplement, "If you can buy only one book on the Somme, it should be Malcolm Brown's powerful and scholarly account."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 12:37 PM

Musket, that is the whole article.
I know artillery and sniping were used to dissuade fraternising.
All that other shit you posted was made up by you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 03:22 PM

"Max Hastings, military historian and ex-war reporter, chooses his favourite "

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2010/mar/14/10-best-books-war-max-hastings

If the Guardian says he is a war historian, who cares what the two muppets think!?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Troubadour
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 07:23 PM

"I have rejected nothing, but the people you mention were simply not representative."

The people he mentioned, with many others, served amid the mud, and the blood and the bullets, were wounded and returned, eventually either invalided out or killed, and according to you they know less than a journalist writing 70 years after.

Jesus fuckng wept, now I know just how stupid you are!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 07:28 PM

"You still can not find one living historian to support your case."

Ninety six years after it ended there isn't a living historian who knows at first hand what went on.

Well Bugger me! WHAT A SURPRISE!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 03:30 AM

Now that those who saw action in the Second World War are reaching their twilight years, we can look forward to partisan cleansing of history there too.

The establishment waited for the veterans from the first war to die off before rewriting history to see jingoism and poor military leadership in a sanitised light.

It seems to work too, judging by the gullibility shown on this and similar threads by someone who claims to have read plenty yet demonstrates no understanding.

Fascinating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 04:34 AM

"Have you found one living historian who supports your views yet?"
Our education system supports the popular view of history - the history - our established and fully qualified historians have written he history of World War One - it has been a done deal for half a century.
You have presented a minute handful of totally unknown 'historians' and a scabloid journalist - most, apart from the journalist, who in no way back up what you say (go and read what they do have to say) - and suggest we take a quantum leap back to the jingoistic propaganda which conned millions of young men to sacrifice their lives for a dead and discredited Empire - yeah sure - where do I sign!!!!
I'm delighted you actually own a book - I suggest you read it before you put it on the Oxfam pile.
You have a list of who your 'distinguished historians' are and aren't and what they do and don't have to say n a subject that was peripheral to their (unknown) skills - they say nothing resembling your pathetically quaint flag-waving.
You are continuing to present your scabloid journalist (your main and only witness to your claims) as a 'historian' - he isn't - he is a journalist for a scabloid newspaper - which more-or-less sums yup your case .
You have been given masses of long accepted information from respectable and fully accredited sources - you have rejected them all.
You have described historians like Liddell Hart and Trevelyan as 'revisionists and romantics' and soldiers who fought I the war and gave their experiences as "liars" - Sasson, Liddell Hart, Robert Graves, Patrick MacGill - eve poor old Tommy Kenny, the Liverpool docker who lied about his age to join up and got his ears blown off for his (in his own words) "totally misguided stupidity in believeing the bastards lies".
You insult them, you insult genuine historians who have worked over the intervenient period to make sense of a bloody and greed-inspired conflict that robbed millions of young man of their lives and their health - you insult our intelligence by expecting anybody to take up your antiquated cause
Dream on
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:25 AM

You chumps do not understand History.
Do you believe that historical knowledge seeps away every day?
Modern historians have the work of previous historians to build on PLUS the fruits of continuing research and information not previously available.

Jim mentions education.
Here is a piece from The Times Educational Supplement offering guidance to teachers.
You should read it, but you won't so I will provide some extracts.
Please at least read those.
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6373287


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:33 AM

"If we accept that the purpose of remembering the First World War is to learn about the horrors of war, we are not teaching it as it was but rather as we presume it to have been. In other words, we have accepted that the conflict is not a historical event to be dissected and understood, but a moral lesson to be recalled. That is profoundly dangerous.

Teachers often complain about market ideology being poured into their classrooms, but it is equally as dogmatic to maintain that the only possible lesson to be learned from the 1914-18 hostilities is about the horrors of war. In fact, if the centenary is to be truly historical, the First World War needs to be considered in far greater depth, and the myths that have grown up around it challenged.

I would like to take aim at three here: first, that it was, without question, an unjust and imperialist war; second, that war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen provide a representative response of soldiers to the conflict; and third, that the generals of the First World War were ignorant and callous butchers who had no regard for their men. All three of these myths appear to be deeply embedded in too many of our schools and in too much of our culture."

"The service experience of European soldiers ought also to be re-examined. Few British children can have made it through school without at least one English or history lesson on "the war poets", the teacher sonorously intoning Owen's immortal phrase, "you would not tell with such high zest/to children ardent for some desperate glory/the old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est/Pro patria mori".

This bitter anger at the futility of it all is sold as the authentic voice of the front-line soldier. Except it probably wasn't the majority view at all. Martin Stephen, a former high master of St Paul's private school in London, who completed a doctorate on the war poets, interviewed hundreds of First World War veterans in the 1970s and found not one who had a copy of work by the famous war poets or endorsed the views in that poetry."


"Many of the men Stephen interviewed were outraged by the patronising attitude of later generations that they had been mere cannon fodder, ignorant of the causes of the war and maltreated. They were clear why they had fought and satisfied that the war had been worthwhile. Nor had their experience been as unremittingly dreadful as some historians and polemicists claimed: 80 per cent of enlisted men came home again, and although most communities in the country bore some loss, there are villages in England where there is no war memorial because every man returned."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:37 AM

"Stephen concluded that the Owen and Sassoon view took hold not because it represented real Tommies but because it reflected the shock of a middle class unused to war. Taking Owen as the "average" British soldier is like assuming that the Guardian letters page of 2003 provides an authentic representation of life in the armed forces in Iraq."

"Much of the negative image of Haig and his generals was created by a small group of historians, beginning with Basil Liddell Hart, who served under Haig in the war but later turned on him. Liddell Hart's haughty disdain for his former commander had a profound influence on the left-wing agitprop of the 1960s, and the myths of imperialist war and ignorant generals were grist to the mill.

This view has been challenged, and challenged strongly. Gary Sheffield wrote Forgotten Victory more than a decade ago, comprehensively deconstructing the myths of the Great War. Yet the group of actors, writers and musicians behind the No Glory in War campaign seeking to influence the centenary celebrations can still get significant play with their views, unchanged from that 1960s liberal consensus. When Brian Eno says that the war was "a total disaster that was unnecessary and destroyed a generation", he speaks for many, even if the historical record simply does not support such a claim."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 05:40 AM

The First World War was an infinitely more complex historical phenomenon than British popular memory makes it. Instead of being approached with caution and examined - and learned from - as a multilayered event, it has become almost a "fixed point" in the historical calendar, a vision of war not as it was but as we think it should be taught.

This is neither desirable nor wise: it cheapens the contributions of those who served in full knowledge of what their service meant; it makes generals who may have been slow to learn but were ultimately highly effective into callous villains; and it substitutes an easy, allegedly historical lesson for a much harder set of truths.

The centenary of the First World War must not be a chauvinistic cavalcade but nor should it be a pacifist's parade. We should hope for an open, honest debate about the multifaceted meanings of this war, the diversity of the experiences of those who fought in it, and what lessons we can draw from it today. The rattle of the machine guns has long since fallen silent, but a fierce contest between popular memory and historical evidence is still taking place in the trenches of Flanders, on the sands of Gallipoli and on the alpine slopes of the Austro-Italian war.

Because of that battle, we should hope that this centenary leads to a profound public conversation about the First World War, challenging received wisdoms and raising uncomfortable truths. If it does, that may be the most suitable commemoration of the fallen we can make


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 06:12 AM

May I humbly say that Keith's last post is an excellent, well-balanced summary? All historical events have myriad viewpoints and interpretations. 'Complex' and 'multi-layered' is the right way to approach them. As a teacher, I was pleased to see the National Curriculum bring in more evidential and first-hand accounts from the period studied, and informed opinions encouraged, rather than swallowing whole the received standpoint issued by old textbooks. I have listened to both my father and my grandfather (who survived the trenches with minor wounds, non-removable shrapnel and loss of part of his hand) and their accounts of both Wars IMO were infinitely valuable. Both these brave men were completely against fraternising with the enemy, and neither viewed their respective War service with resentment or bitterness, only great pride. (I heartily wish I had questioned them more thoroughly during their lives, as of course their memories are now lost.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 07:48 AM

according to you they know less than a journalist writing 70 years after.
Jesus fuckng wept, now I know just how stupid you are!


So, I am stupid because I read and learn from history (not "journalists")!
I am in good company.
The Times Ed.
Stupid?
The BBC. Their history site has commissioned Sheffield and Todman to tell the true story and debunk the myths.
Stupid?

So here we are.
You have not read the work of one living historian and reject all their work.
You think you are all so clever and call people stupid because they take the trouble to seek out the truth.

You are all too stupid to learn.
I am happy for you to stew in your ignorance.
How you are going to hate the next 4 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 11:06 AM

Keith's contribution of 01 Jan 14 - 05:40 AM is of course copy-and-pasted from a "London-based comprehensive teacher John Blake", as Google readily tells us. A man of poetic English, this being the main contrast to primitive Keith.

No question that history is a complex matter, much more so than many including Keith tend to think. The main controversial point is whether "those who served" did so "in full knowledge of what their service meant". As I commented earlier: if matters appear very complex even for us with hindsight, how on earth could they have been fully transparent to "those who served"?!

I do not want to "cheapen" or criticize soldiers who felt they were doing their duty. The idea of honouring them, however, would imply that we approve of the sort of power gambling that led to the war, by the governments of all the large countries involved (- sorry for repeating). I definitely do not approve of that, particularly not for today and tomorrow; that is the political aspect of it. I protest against any government or other power gamblers seizing real or imagined heroes of the past for their own agenda.

At Xmas 1914, everybody realized that the initial plans "home by Christmas" had failed. It was therefore imaginable that peace negotiations took place, as had in previous wars, so that it was reasonable to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. This time, however, those in power decided to raise the stakes to "the winner takes it all", presumably because their propaganda machines had been more efficient than planned - everybody now having access to newspapers.

We do not wish to fall victim to such propaganda again and again. Not by persons who support our own governments, not by anybody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 11:10 AM

I'll order the Union Jack bunting. Can't wait.

The last time I read anything in TES, it was advocating Brain Gym for Clapton's sake.

All and any links to all and anything is a link to opinion.

It takes human evaluation to sort the wheat from the chaff. Keith rattles on about education yet fails to use the education he was given. Just pointing to views of others who happen to be paid to give opinions isn't exactly helpful.

But I am of the opinion he isn't trying to be objective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 12:13 PM

"Have you found one living historian who supports your views yet?
By the way - all living historians support - the traditional view (not mine - the one that is fully accepted by both historians and educationists) - I would have thought that would have been blindingly obvious, except of course - you don't read - not even your own cut-'n-pastes.
At least one of your revisionist historians (correct use of the term - one who revises the accepted facts in the light of new considerations) has said that 'the current view of World War One must be altered' - this has been echoed by your Daily Mail journalist Therefore, until the views of the tiny minority you have hastily sought out are fully accepted, the traditional se of facts remain unchanged.
Unless you are able to supply any evidence whatever that such a change is taking place, the situation remains unaltered
There has been little response to your 'historian' and journalist's claims so far - don't you think we would have had some evidence of this radical change of view if there had been one.
So far these pronouncements have been greeted with silence - apart from the history journals writer pointing out that Max Clifford's - (whoops - I meant Hastings of course - these tabloid writers are beginning to confuse me) - book is weak on the causes of World War One (do you intend to respond to this statement)
Don't suppose for one minute that you'll respond to this with anything more than stupid denials - but that's something else that remains unaltered.

"Stuart Hallifax"
Might have had better luck if you'd spelled it properly in the first place.
From a book review of 2007 - nothing to do with the history of WW1 - just the effect it had on life in Britain his thesis was on "the experiences and attitudes of civilians in Essex during the First World War, 1914-1918"
If he was successful in his studies he is now a seasoned historian of 9 years standing in the effects of domestic life in Britain.
"Stuart Hallifax is a DPhil student at The Queen's College, Oxford studying the effect of the First World War on life in Britain."
These is little information on his skills as a historian - apart from self-promoting blogs.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 12:28 PM

"So, I am stupid because I read and learn from history (not "journalists")!"
But you don't read from anything Keith - you seek out, cut and paste (not even bothering to read them properly) - you wouldn't be putting up names that bear no resemblance to your jingoism if you did
You now appear to be lifting direct quotes from the web and claiming them as your own - or did you just forget to put in the quotation marks from your posting - entirely filched from 'The First Casualty; truth'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 03:55 AM

You are obviously not going to respond with anything resembling a sane explanation of your insane claims
I suggest you take a serious look at your behaviour on this forum - which has led to your deliberately flooding and destroying thread after thread with your fanaticism.
Here, on the basis of a few cut-'n-pastes, gathered to fit a preconceive stance on a subject you have on knowledge whatever (despite claims of it being your "lifelong study" you are now attempting to do what no historian (or even tabloid journalist) has done and single-handedly re-write the history of World War One as it is regarded by all historians and educationalists in Britain today.
While you may have pointed out some features of the subject that have been put under scrutiny by diverse, and not particularly distinguished or qualified historians (and a tabloid journalist) - you have redifined
THE CAUSES OF WORLD WAR ONE, COMPLETELY IGNORING THE NOW FULLY ACCEPTED IMPERIALIST NATURE OF THE CONFLICT
THE CONDUCT OF THE WAR AND HOW IT WAS LED
THE ATTITUDE OF THE PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT, WHY THEY VOLUNTEERED, THE NATURE OF THE PROPAGANDA WHICH LED THEM TO DO SO AND THEIR FEELINGS ON THEIR ASPIRATIONS, THEIR TREATMENT AND THEIR DISILLUSIONMENT - ALL FULLY DOCUMENTED MATTERS OF RECORD.
No single historian (or even tabloid journalist) has attempted to make the claims you have made here
A tiny handful of relatively unknown historians have, as I said, have questioned some aspects of the conflict and thrown them open for debate.
You have lumped them all together, and on the basis of a few hastily gathered cut-'n-pastes, have attempted to turn known history on its head and create a whole new historical scenario for the events all in total ignorance of the subject, and without ever having read a book
As far as I can see, your attitude displays signs of acute megalomania.
This is now happening repeatedly on this forum on virtually every topic you become involved in.
Please have some regard for those of us who do have some interest and a little knowledge in the subjects we contribute to.
If you are gong to continue to behave the way you do you will damage this forum ore than you have so far, which is not inconsiderable.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:12 AM

http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=24650
Stuart Hallifax
Queen's College Oxford
Article 'Over by Christmas': British popular opinion and the short war in 1914"
published in First World War Studies
Vol.1, No. 2, October 2010 103-121
Published By: Routledge
Print ISSN: 1947-5020
Online ISSN: 1947-5039
Queen's College, Oxford

"The words and actions of civilians and leaders do not suggest that expectations of peace by Christmas were widespread, and they certainly did not spur the recruiting boom of late summer 1914."

"As part of the image of a nation unprepared for war, 'over by Christmas' is an iconic phrase that has become accepted as ubiquitous in and singular to 1914. It was neither. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:13 AM

I've worked it out Jim.

The more you write, the longer he trawls for dissenting views to cut and paste. Hence his quietness for a few posts.

I have to admit, I do say things that are backed up but I purposely say them in a way to have him show his true colours. My bad, but without exploring where Keith is coming from, his more dubious claims might be taken at face value and without challenge, truth gets lost in the fog.

I was delighted to see the Xmas sniper redeployment mentioned in the "box" in the article in The Week, as the non subscriber web version misses out the explanation box. There is another example regarding healthcare statistics, where reports are written ahead of verified data but such data is always available for research (Cochrane etc). Keith loves to wave "definitive" stories and reports as meaning " end of discussion. ". Thick bugger hasn't worked out yet that they are there to provoke debate, not stifle it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:24 AM

I am done with casting pearls before swine.
I used to think like you.
I read Sassoon and Graves and Remarque as a youth and still have Owen on my shelf.
I thought O What A lovely War brilliant.

Unlike all of you, I have continued my reading.
I know that those all myths have been debunked.

You can not find one single living historian to support your views., because your views are discredited.
They all support my views because that is where I got them.

You can call acclaimed and eminent historians "journalists" but who are you?
Empty headed, know nothings.
You can find no intelligent person to support that either!

So you bunch of ignorant twats can keep telling yourselves how clever you are, and how stupid historians are.
I have put the work of the historians before you.
You reject them just because of your prejudice and preconceptions.
Get on with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:45 AM

I have to admit, I do say things that are backed up

No you do not.
I challenge and defy you to find a single example.

How about a photo. of that "box"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 08:03 AM

Readers who just drop in, hoping to read about the subject of the thread title, should know that the latest contributions actually continue the debate of the Armistice Day thread. We are likely to get more WWI threads this year.

The bicker "my historians are better than yours" is very childish, particularly when we do not know what single statement is being debated/challenged.

The text "quoted" by Keith is a masterpiece of revisionist propaganda, well worth studying for that reason. The author, "comprehensive teacher" John Blake, even has the cheek to invoke Christopher Clark for his purposes. His rhetorics suggest that all non-revisionists "simplify" the matter, whereas his view "a just war fought bravely and led adequately, though understandably not perfectly" is of utmost subtlety, at last doing justice to a complex topic.

His title, "The first casualty: truth", normally refers to official wartime propaganda. Blake now suggests that this propaganda was actually the truth, innocently slaughtered by (mainly post-WWI) critics.

The present-day revisionism debate is not really about "military history". Whether Haig was incompetent or even criminally negligent is a mere academic detail. What all of us should be interested in is international politics and its use of military power.

Another point of dangerous rhetorics is referring to countries as if they had a single mind. There is no such thing as "British interests" (or Chinese, etc.). We have a European Parliament which should be seen as representing "us". One day we will have a World Parliament, but like its European counterpart, it will only be able to do its job if many voters feel truly represented.

Nationalism is by no means a constant of human nature, it has only existed for the last three centuries. We must hope that it vanishes soon, and defy all opposing propaganda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 08:30 AM


The bicker "my historians are better than yours" is very childish, particularly when we do not know what single statement is being debated/challenged


The bicker actually is "historians know nothing compared to Muppet and mates."

My case from the start of the first thread was just 3 points.
Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught.
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that.
The British army was not badly led.

I have shown that historians support all those points.
None of you have produced anything from any living person to contradict it, but still you try to shout me down.

Grishka, you call me "primitive."

I do not know what you mean by that, and I do not care.
You are arguing against historians.
If this were an intelligent debate, you would all shut up and admit you have nothing, absolutely nothing, to support your case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:22 AM

The bicker actually is "historians know nothing compared to Muppet and mates."
That is one of the aspects, the other being "all those who disagree with me cannot be competent historians by definition". My gravest point of criticism is that my analysis of your (Keith's) three theses has not been responded to, and no other analysis has been offered. You insist on wholesale acceptance, which no other poster has afforded hitherto, not even those whom I deem susceptible to nationalism in principle.
Grishka, you call me "primitive."

I do not know what you mean by that, and I do not care.
Your rhetorics and logics are primitive compared to John Blake's. You have been able to impress Eliza with "borrowed plumes"; I guess she has not read most of the messages that you wrote yourself previously, otherwise she would have recognized the fraud immediately. Actually we do not need poetic English here at all; precise points would do.
If this were an intelligent debate, you would all shut up and admit you have nothing, absolutely nothing, to support your case.
If this were an intelligent debate, people would distinguish and analyze each other's statements. I have written a lot to support my own case in the other thread, based on political-philosophical analysis and using only those facts of history that have not been disputed. Note that I do not share the emotions of other posters here against long-deceased military leaders - it is neither my field of interest nor my country. If you wish to criticize me, refer to my own statements. It helps a lot if you read them first.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 09:28 AM

"all those who disagree with me cannot be competent historians by definition".

That has been the argument of Jim and Musket.

Are you aware of any living historian who contradicts my simple case?
If the answer is no, explain why you should be taken seriously on a subject you clearly know nothing about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:40 AM

Tell you what Keith. I saiid you were a jingoistic nutter with rose tinted testicles who wants history to fit your agenda.

That appears to be "backed up" every time you hit the return button.

Why do historians have to be living? Being a bit selective aren't we? Alan Clark a feature of your latest book burning evening was he?

I like it when you keep saying "I used to be like you." I sincerely hope not. I don't reckon I accidentally barbecued my donkey on the road to Damascus for starters. New publications enrich and refine my take on matters, not turn them round 180 deg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 11:47 AM

Why do historians have to be living?!!!

And why do you have to rely on long dead ones?
I believed them too, 40 years ago.

Since then knowledge has moved on and I with it.
Not one single living historian disputes my 3 points, or supports you.

As I said, if this were an intelligent debate, that would be the end of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:17 PM

"all those who disagree with me cannot be competent historians by definition".

That has been the argument of Jim and Musket.
And you, all three off the point.
Are you aware of any living historian who contradicts my simple case? If the answer is no, explain why you should be taken seriously on a subject you clearly know nothing about.
Easily explained: the few historical facts I use for my analysis in the other thread are not being disputed, not even by you. The conclusions I make are in the realm of politics and philosophy, in which professional historians - all the more "military historians" - do not have any more of a say than I.

You chose to ignore my analysis and also dodged my "parable". No use in repeating all that; anyone interested can read the previous thread and decide on their own.
As I said, if this were an intelligent debate, that would be the end of it.
How very true.—

I heard that events similar to the one of the thread title occured in other places as well, also between French and German troops, and well into 1915. By "tacit agreements" they stopped shooting; when a superior officer arrived for inspections, they started shooting into the air, so that the other side could go into hiding. Almost every soldier would have preferred winning over losing, but many would have been happy with peace negotiations. The reason why it did not become reality was that all polititians (including German socialists) had publicly commited themselves to winning under moral pretexts, and feared to be shamed and deposed if they backed down an inch or centimetre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:25 PM

The conclusions I make are in the realm of politics and philosophy,
I am not interested in politics or philosophy.
I am only interested in establishing the truth of these 3 points.

Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught.
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that.
The British army was not badly led.

Are you aware of any living historian who contradicts my simple case?

If the answer is no, explain why you should be taken seriously on a subject you clearly know nothing about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:28 PM

Are you aware of any living historian who contradicts my simple case?

Yes I am. Dozens, if not hundreds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:33 PM

You haven't told that joke for a while.
You must know that no-one believes your shit.
Your repeating the same old denial without any substance is just laughable.
You are a sad little joke.
You so want to be muppet and Jim's friend, but you don't know anything.
Poor Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Well led Musket
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:38 PM

They certainly were well led. They even thoughtfully supplied ladders, whistles and superfluous stretcher bearers. Not to mention red caps with raised guns waiting back in their own trenches.

The well leading Generals thought of everything. Just imagine what would have happened if the butcher of The Somme didn't care for the waves of human life he sent into the path of German guns. Doesn't bear thinking about...

Stupid stupid man. Hang your head in shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM

Stupid stupid historians. Hang your heads in shame.
What do you know compared to muppet?

You are a ridiculous fool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:42 PM

Now Keith, I assume you're not limiting yourself to historians from the British Isles - thus including French, Belgian, Turkish, German, United States, Italian, Australian & etc. & etc.

Are you really feeble-minded enough to maintain your idiotic stance that no historians disagree with your over-simplified bullshit?

Perhaps you truly are a fuckwit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 12:43 PM

Another joke you haven't told that joke for a while.
You must know that no-one believes your shit.
You are a sad little joke.
You so want to be muppet and Jim's friend, but you don't know anything.
Poor Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 01:35 PM

I am not interested in politics or philosophy.
I am only interested in establishing the truth of these 3 points.
The third one appears of little relevance to me, the other two have political and philosophical implications, genuinely and by their rhetorical formulations, as I amply pointed out. So did Jim. The conflict we are talking about is in 2014, not in 1914, and if you did not know that darned well, you would not be so involved in your agenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 01:42 PM

The conflict I am talking about was in 1914.
Are you aware of any living historian who contradicts my simple, 3 point case case?

If the answer is no, explain why you should be taken seriously on a subject you clearly know nothing about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 01:46 PM

Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught.

This is really a very bold statement.

No choice

I am interested in how you have concluded that Britain truly had No Choice in the matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 02:06 PM

I am interested in how you have concluded that Britain truly had No Choice in the matter.

Because he's an idiot.   QED.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 02:33 PM

KB, the German armies invaded Belgium and France and were going hard for the English Channel.

Historians are quite clear that Britain had to resist them.
We were treaty bound to defend Belgium, and our own security was seriously threatened.

Greg, tell us again about all the thousands of historians who take a different view, but this time name one.
Or, tell us why you can't.
Is it not because you don't know?
You don't know anything at all about any of this but you so want to be with your friends.
You are a sad act Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 02:54 PM

Greg, tell us again about all the thousands of historians who take a different view

What would be the point? Would it shift you from your ignorant & spurious viewpoint?

Do your own REAL research & try reading history by those who don't agree with your half-dozen so-called "historians". Should be easy to find 'em as there are, indeed, hundreds if not thousands.

And once again, I refer you to a library where the actual facts can be found in the writings of REAL historians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 02:59 PM

the German armies invaded Belgium and France and were going hard for the English Channel.

Historians are quite clear that Britain had to resist them.
We were treaty bound to defend Belgium, and our own security was seriously threatened.


Do you believe that Germany in 1914 would have been able to cross the Channel and invade England?

Britain was treaty bound to defend Belgium but Germany was also treaty bound to respect the neutrality of Belgium. I agree that Britain had an obligation to Belgium but in the real world of global politics I don't believe that qualifies it as a No Choice situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: selby
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 03:04 PM

At the end of the day a generation of young men where wiped out and nothing can bring them back. Politicians still have not learned the lessons from WW1 and think it is good for their personal kudos to send our nations young people to idiotic conflicts. Nothing changes people are still arguing over little words, phrases, believes and colour of politics and thats how wars start.
Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 03:55 PM

KB, I showed that Britain did regard the threat of invasion in 1914 as very probable, moving troops and preparing defences.
I am not going through all this again.
Read the 2 threads and then ask about anything not already covered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 03:59 PM

Greg, the laughs just keep coming!
Should be easy to find 'em as there are, indeed, hundreds if not thousands.

But you can't find even one!
You ridiculous fool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:19 PM

KB, I showed that Britain did regard the threat of invasion in 1914 as very probable, moving troops and preparing defences.
I am not going through all this again.
Read the 2 threads and then ask about anything not already covered.


I am not going to read that entire other thread to get an answer to one question. I followed it for a bit but have not lately, it turned into a p*ssing match, as these things often do, this one included. I am trying to get back to some reasoned debate (though the original topic has been lost in the mists).


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:23 PM

Keith, count how many posts you've made to this thread (and the others you've been involved in) and don't dare call anyone ELSE a "ridiculous fool". I don't know why these people keep talking to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 07:42 PM

I agree with Keith A. that surrender would not have been a desirable alternative for Britain and France, once the war had started. But there had been plenty of other options since 1900. The governments had taken their seats at the gambling table for power (not just "sleepwalked"), soldiers taking the role of pawns in chess. Understandable at that time, but not to be approved of. Each single one of the major powers could and should have prevented the world wars (- WWII being unimaginable without WWI, so to speak).

We must demand from our governments to counteract the reasons for future wars as soon as they become apparent. We and they have learned a lot since 1914, but not enough by far. Governments and other powerful institutions who are allowed to glorify their past heroes will feel encouraged to play the same games as their predecessors again. If we achieve this, we may still have to send soldiers to fight, but much more rarely and with a better conscience. I mentioned Afghanistan in the other thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 08:04 PM

In my previous message, instead of "If we achieve this, ..." I should have written "If we succeed in preventing them from doing this, ..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 12:34 AM

KB, this was posted just last Sunday.
It is not reasonable for you to come in at the end of 12 weeks of debate and demand a rehash!
If you are not prepared to look yourself, do not expect me to do it for you!
You could start by reading the preview in the link.

"Invasion was recognised as a serious threat in 1914, and many regiments were deployed to meet it."

page 125
"In 1914, invasion preparations and home defence measures were taken all along the east coast of Britain, from Scotland to Sussex.
While the authorities tried to keep these preparations out of the public eye-to avoid scaremongering, people witnessed them, stoking fear and anxiety.
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lVK0SSmvD5wC&pg=PA125&lpg=PA125&dq=invasion+preparation+1914&source=bl&ots=qPt2tdhG9V&sig=JIZ


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 12:45 AM

Jeri, I have been arguing my simple case against numerous people simultaneously.
Almost alone, it has fallen to me to respond to them all.
What is ridiculous about that?

Also, I have posted numerous quotes and extracts from historians and other sources to substantiate every single thing I have said.
What is ridiculous about that?

What is ridiculous is that they are denying living historians while shouting me down for believing them.

You single me out for saying "ridiculous fool" but pass no comment on the vile, obscene abuse I have been subject to.

You are being unfair on me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:56 AM

Which is worst.

Those who politely say you have not made your case or those who laugh at you?

The following WW1 poem may be distressing to those readers of a nervous disposition.

Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom. Boom


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:59 AM

My "quietness for a few posts" is entirely due to the pointless exercise of feeding a troll who stands alone in his defence of a long out of date arguments and who has adopted the technique of ignoring every single fact on a matter of history
You have claimed the long established views of Taylor and Hart and the accounts given by soldiers like Sassoon, Owen, McGill are "lies" - prove it - prove that the present day view of the war is wrong and that you alone are right - not one single historian, including the ones you have presented, has come anywhere near to sharing your antiquated jingoistic view of the facts - not one single one.
You have had your cut-'n-pastes put into context - you choose not to respond,
You have had the arguments of the present views of history put to you - you dismiss them without proof or qualification.
I have never indulged in 'battles of cut-'n-pastes' why the hell should I - any moron can trawl the internet and prove the moon is made out of cheese should they wish to.
You want a discussion - go and learn something and stop attempting to defend your arguments with out of context - read something.
You are alone here yet you continue to sneer at all who disagree with you.
You alone display absolute ignorance on the subject under discussion, yet you dismiss all opposing arguments out of hand.
ou have had all the evidence needed to make up your mind, yet you demand more.
You are a troll Keith - a sad figure who seems to need to seek the attention you are not getting elsewhere by embarking on fanatical crusades which you invariably end up totally alone, as you have here.
I don't indulge in cut-'n-paste slanging matches with morons, I really don't need to - life's too short anyway.
I certainly don't trawl the net to indulge someone who has long proved himself a raving fanatic on any subject put before him - I certainly couldn't hope to dismantle your own arguments as efficiantly as you have managed to do yourself.
I don't claim to know a great deal about WW1 - I do know a little from what I've read, I know a little of the conditions and opinions of the war by "liars" who fought in that war.
You think we are all wrong, you think all conventional and established historians are wrong - and you alone are right - as I said earlier - extreme meglomania.
You obviously have no intention of abandoning your attempts to destroy this forum with your attention-seeking - it is to be hoped that eventually the administrators of this forum will take a hand in your somewhat insane quest for forum domination.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 04:28 AM

defence of a long out of date arguments
That is the position of you, Musket and co.

I have shown you the current position, quoting live historians.
You were unable to produce anything but the discredited work of long dead historians.

I have never suggested that any war veteran was a liar, but modern historians are quite clear that those you refer to were not at all representative.

I am done with casting pearls before swine.
I used to think like you.
I read Sassoon and Graves and Remarque as a youth and still have Owen on my shelf.
I thought O What A lovely War brilliant.

Unlike all of you, I have continued my reading.
I know that those all myths have been debunked.

You can not find one single living historian to support your views., because your views are discredited.
They all support my views because that is where I got them.

You can call acclaimed and eminent historians "journalists" but who are you?
Empty headed, know nothings.
You can find no intelligent person to support that either!

So you bunch of ignorant twats can keep telling yourselves how clever you are, and how stupid historians are.
I have put the work of the historians before you.
You reject them just because of your prejudice and preconceptions.
Get on with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 05:03 AM

Will you please stop saying you used to think like me.

I have to live with myself you know ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM

"That is the position of you, Musket and co."
No it isn't - it is the view of all historians apart from the tiny handful you have sought out - several of these have made it clear by writing that "the current thinking on World War One" must be changed - if you can't believe the evidence of your own witnesses why do you persist in this farce?
"You were unable to produce anything but the discredited work of long dead historians."
They have not been didscredited - they have been challenged on some points only by your tiny handful of your obscure historians and you7r tabloid journalist.
If these people have been "discredited", tell us when it happened and what has been "discredited, and by whom.
These are among Britain's leading historians and highest respected historian - if this is not the case you are also challenging the biographical entries of them - show us where they are in any way "discreditd" - you meglomanic nutter.
"I am done with casting pearls before swine."
Arrogant prick
"You can call acclaimed and eminent historians "journalists""
Max clifford - whoops Hastings - is a journalist who presently works for a tabloid newspaper - he has no professional historical qualifications whatever - go and look up his biographical entry.
As James Cagney once said just before he was blown to smithereens - "Top of the world ma"
Get help
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:27 AM

Hastings is recognised as a leading military historian by other historians, and by the media including the Guardian.

Who care what your worthless opinion is?

- it is the view of all historians apart from the tiny handful you have sought out - several of these have made it clear by writing that "the current thinking on World War One" must be changed

They said the current popular view, ie YOURS, needs to change because it has been debunked by modern historians.

Can I remind you that I have produced numerous living historians compared to all you lot who have found, errr, NONE!

If these people have been "discredited", tell us when it happened and what has been "discredited, and by whom.

OK, but then I really am done with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:36 AM

The main focus of my research is the ways in which the First World War
was mythologised in Britain in the eighty years after its end, with
its focus concentrated on the interactions between family and national
myths of war. In recent years, British military historians have
pointed out the difference between modern popular beliefs about the
war and the ways it was constructed, experienced and fought at the
time. I have taken part in this - what is now too well developed to be
called a 'revisionist' – interpretation, but my main concern has been
to find out how this gap in perceptions developed.
http://www.warhistorian.org/todman.php


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:39 AM

Same piece.
"Certainly the 'musical entertainment' has been blamed by modern military historians for falsifying popular perceptions of the First World War. They would argue that, if Britons now think of the war in terms of mud, blood, futility and asinine generals, it is not because that accurately represents what happened, but because in the intervening years a false version of the war has become culturally dominant. Alex Danchev, and more vehemently Brian Bond, have both argued that the 1960s was a key moment in that transformation (1). In that decade, they have suggested, new myths of the war were created to fit the rapidly changing social and political context. The war was used by those on the radical left to present ways of understanding the nuclear arms race,..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 06:48 AM

In Britain, the historian A.J.P. Taylor wrote a book called The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, in which he claimed that German ambitions caused the conflict:




[The German] bid for continental supremacy was certainly decisive in bringing on the European War ...

A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe (1954


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 07:03 AM

BBC
For a younger generation of Britons, the first encounter with the Great War often came either in the pages of Taylor's history, or through a Bank Holiday television repeat of the 1969 film of 'Oh What a Lovely War'.

Having grown up with the version of the war popular since the 1940s, younger audiences often took these works as factual. At school, many came to the war through English lessons, where a small group of war poets were taught in an historical vacuum.

Sassoon and Wilfred Owen could be used to evoke an emotional reaction against war which engaged students and satisfied teachers, but which utterly misrepresented the feelings of most Britons who lived through the war years.

The extent to which this mythology was shared made it an attractive setting for television series and historical novels. Many jokes in the 1989 BBC TV series 'Blackadder Goes Forth' relied on the audience understanding that the war meant stupid generals, pointless attacks and universal death.

Similarly, authors such as Sebastian Faulks could rely on an emotional tenor of tragedy created by a wartime setting. Although works like Faulks' 'Birdsong' are fiction, audiences often believed that they communicated 'deeper truths' about the war, because they reflected their own misconceptions.

The self-reinforcing power of these myths gives them tremendous power. Since the 1980s, a boom in carefully conducted archival investigation has done much to uncover the war's complexity: how it was fought and won by the British army on the Western Front, how domestic support and dissent were encouraged and managed, and how the war was remembered.

Yet this academic research has had almost no impact on popular understanding. This should not be a cause for despair or disdain. Societies have always misrepresented the past in an attempt to understand the present.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:28 AM

That's the problem with trawling old BBC web pages.

You appear to have stumbled upon a script for Jackanory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:44 AM

None of this any any way supports your arrogantly presented antique claims none of it
Where are your "established historian"
Where is your wholesale rebuttal of the established view.
None of this in any way alters the taught facts about the war - they are minor challenges by a minute number of obscure historians - how many qualified historian are there practicing in Britain today who have not questioned the way WW2 is now fully accepted to have happened?   
Where is your evidence that the real established historians were wrong
You accused me of dredging the net for information - you are now doing exactly that and coming up with the same cut-'n-pastes you have already put up
You are now beginning to rant
As I said - "Top of the world Ma"
Jim Carroll
Bit of a relief that you've decided to continue "casting your pearls before swine" - thought I was going to have to dig out an old Monty Python DVD


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 11:51 AM

There you go.
The BBC History site is just "jackanory," and the most eminent, acclaimed, and best known historians of WW1 are "OBSCURE."

Only obscure to ignorant, unread know-nothings like you two!

Can you find anyone of any authority still pushing you old, discredited myths.
No.
You have had 2 months, and nothing.
You lose.
I am done with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 12:22 PM

[The German] bid for continental supremacy was certainly decisive in bringing on the European War ...

A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe (1954
Here lies the crucial point, before 1914, Belgium etc. There had been negotiations between the British and German governments to become allies against France. The official reason given for their failure was about the German fleet. Nothing about human rights, of course (haha!). The obvious truth is that each of the governments involved decided that they could get a larger piece of the cake if they risked a shootout - alliances yet to be wielded. If the fleet had been the true reason, the countries could have called for a public arbitration, which would either have brought about a compromise (like the one between Britain and France, mistitled "Entente"), or identified one party as the aggressor. Instead, British propaganda said Germany wanted continental supremacy, and German propaganda said that Britain (and France etc.) wanted to kick them off the table entirely.

Supremacy in this context did not mean involvement in other countries' domestic affairs, but influence in Africa, sea trade, monopolies (then enforced by military power), and other economic issues. The exact stakes are not known to me, but many think that the fleet thing was a red herring, aimed at the propaganda machine. Anyway, Britons had sung for such a long time that if their government did not rule the waves they would all become slaves, that they started to believe it in reality.

Someone, I think it was on radio, compared Germany's role then to China's now.

My above analysis is based on information that is essentially undisputed. The reason why some people, including historians, come to different moral conclusions is entirely political-philosophical. Regarding countries as if they had a single will is the "original sin" of nationalism; anyone committing it publicly is a deluder, regardless of his academic merits.

To sum up, the reasons for WWI are such that none of the governments involved can be seen to have protected their peoples as they should. This would even be true if their military leaders had been geniuses truly devoted to their task. Those who won were not the soldiers, not even the surviving ones (if we disregard the diminished competition for the girls' favour).


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 12:45 PM

KB, this was posted just last Sunday.
It is not reasonable for you to come in at the end of 12 weeks of debate and demand a rehash!
If you are not prepared to look yourself, do not expect me to do it for you!
You could start by reading the preview in the link.

"Invasion was recognised as a serious threat in 1914, and many regiments were deployed to meet it."


I am not asking for a rehash. I have read all the posts and many of the links. You mention reading the preview in the link but do not say which link. You refer to last Sunday but there were no actual links posted on that day. edit - I see now that you are referring to a link in a different thread. Sorry, but I do not feel obligated to go through another thread to get an answer for a question in this one.

You asked about 3 points and asked for rebuttals. I picked point one and asked for clarification and for your personal opinion on that point.

On pages 124-125 of the link you provided in the other thread (which I did go ahead and open) I find the following:
"On 14 September, Maurice Hankey, Secretary to the CID, argued that confidential instructions for the population should be prepared in the event of a raid, even if invasion was improbable." - emphasis mine -


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:03 PM

KBt was posted last Sunday on the armistice thread.
I gave it as a link then, but I gave you the web address today.
If even just copying that into the box was too much trouble for you, tough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:12 PM

If even just copying that into the box was too much trouble for you, tough.

OK, you have convinced me. You are just a jerk. I was trying to have a civil discussion with you but now I'm outta here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:14 PM

You have been highly selective in just picking out what that one secretary said.
Apart from that, it is made quite clear that the military regarded invasion as a real possibility in the Autumn of 1914 while the war was still one of movement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:31 PM

"Only obscure to ignorant, unread know-nothings like you two!"
Er - and the reast of us -you have no supporters here - not on this forum and not among established historians
"The BBC History site is just "jackanory,"
Nowhere among your carefully selected claims has anybody wholeheartedly set out to change history - not one individual - not even Max Beerbohm (or whatever his name is)
It is you who has insisted on only accepting evidence from qualified historians (only as long as they presented views which back up your own, of course)
You have rejected all evidence that hasn't come from a tabloid journalist and a couple of obscure examples you have dredged up and have rejected the statements of the views of some of the most eminent British historians - and called those who were there to witness the events themselves (including one who has always been regarded as a leading authority) as "liars" and "romantics"
"Can you find anyone of any authority still pushing you old, discredited myths."
"Can you find anyone of any authority still pushing you old, discredited myths."
When are you going to respond to the fact that ALL AUTHORITATIVE HISTORIANS TODAY ACCEPT THE TRADITIONAL VIEW AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO UNTIL EVIDENCE IS PRODUCED THAT CAUSES A MAJOR SEA-CHANGE IN BRITISH HISTORICAL THOUGHT - NO SUCH CHANGE HAS TAKEN PLACE YET
There has been no rethink - there has been no change of heart, there has not even been any significant discussion o the major conclusions of the war - just the acceptance that it is a 100 years since stupidity and greed plunged the world into a murderously, badly organised war that need never have taken place - one of your own historians said exactly that - read your own cut-'n-pastes.      
One thing that has been pointed out recently - covered in one of the links on the other thread is the suggestion is the suggestion that the 100th anniversary and the fact that all of those who actually participated in the war has provided the jingoists with an ideal opportunity to whitewash the military and political leaders of the time and maybe show that the Empire wasn't so bad after all.
You have been, are and will continue to be an utter dipstick - that's something that will never change while you pontificate on subjects you have not enough interest in to read up beforehand - read a book.
Pip-pip
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 01:34 PM

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.

Edward Abbey


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:10 PM

Once the war had started, each of the armies considered invading the enemy territories temporarily, to disarm them and seize reparations, as the French army actually did after WWI, and the German army had done in 1871. Britain was absolutely right to prepare for such an event, but its propaganda was absolutely wrong declaring this to be an original target of German warfare.

In France and Belgium of 1914, the feeling was that the worst case was similar to 1871. Only from 1915 on, the stakes were raised to unprecedented heights, probably not planned by the governments but forced by public opinion which had taken the propaganda too seriously. According to my French grandma (- thus grown up as a skeptic -), British soldiers were more ardent believers in their superiors' propaganda than French ones. Not their own fault, to be sure. No point in blaming large masses of young men anyway, who tend to do what large masses of young men tend to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:29 PM

you have no supporters here - not on this forum and not among established historians

Not on this forum, but absolutely among established historians.
All the ones I quoted are just that.
NAME ONE ESTABLISHED HISTORIAN THAT STILL BELIEVES THOSE OLD DEBUNKED MYTHS YOU CLING TO.
You have had 2 months Jim.
What is the problem.

KB, sorry.
I have taken two months of shit from this ignorant bunch and I have had enough.
Why don't you ask them to substantiate their views by quoting anyone, ANYONE, with some knowledge of WW1.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:40 PM

Nice to see revisionism is abhorred by lots of people.

Not just me then.

I'd add some RAM to my computer if I were you Keith. Gonna take a lot of selective searching to make everybody here look twats.

I'll help you. As of now I'm officially a historian. Now you don't have to keep saying "the historians" all the time. Because I'm a dissenting one.

Helpful?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 05:31 PM

KB, sorry.
I have taken two months of shit from this ignorant bunch and I have had enough.


Point taken, I will try again.


Here is why it is your view I have questioned. In your very first contribution to the thread you posted the following:
They were faced with aggressive, invading German armies rampaging across Europe towards the English Channel, massacring civilians and children as they went.

Germany invaded Belgium on 4 August and Britain declared war the very same day. It could not possibly have been because "Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered" (which you bring up two posts later). They were not really rampaging across Europe yet either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 07:25 PM

Why all the personal abuse? Even when we are having an argument with someone whom we think is completely and absurdly wrong it is perfectly easy to express that view strongly and unambiguously and politely. And that even applies if they are being abusive towards us.

Some respect towards the context of this thread is surely appropriate. The Western Front was not a playground, it was a killing field and a graveyard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 07:35 PM

Nice to see revisionism is abhorred by lots of people.

I for one do not automatically abhor revisionism. If it were not for revisionism we would still be reading about what a grand fellow Custer was and how awful those savages were.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:56 PM

All history is to some extent a succession of revisionisms. What is revisionism today is likely to be orthodoxy tomorrow, and what was once the orthodoxy overthrown by rebisionists can often turn up, topped and tailed, as a new revisionism, destined to temporarily become orthodox... And so on.

Among other things, historical study is a career structure. To get on a historian needs to find some new aspect of the past, some untapped resource of information, some new way of analysing the available information. That means there is an inbuilt tendency to revise how the events of history are understood.

If it was in fact true that there was a generation of scholars who viewed the Great War in the way Keith does, you can be very sure that there is another generation in the wings ready to demolish that view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 01:10 AM

KB, the massacres obviously were not involved in the decision to go to war and I never suggested such a ludicrous thing.
They did create anger and fear among the population.
I really have been over this many times. Please consider skimming through if you are serious.
Why did you extract the one comment by that secretary and ignore all the clear evidence that the military considered the threat of invasion as very real?
I was not even sure than what CID was.
Presumably you were?

Musket, congratulations on becoming a historian again.
Please name any of your colleagues who are not revisionists.
If there are none, you must be a very lonely little historian.
Poor little historian.
You should not have said they were "stupid, stupid," "should hang their heads in shame," and that "historians should know better." !

Seriously, are there any living historians whose views contradict mine and support yours?
No.
Discussion over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 04:44 AM

Some of the statements by modern historians regarding the causes of World War One
I don't go into quick-fixes - there is an ongoing debate on the subject, which is vast and complex and will not be resolved by quick dips into the net to prove one point or the other
On thing is certain - nobody, but nobody is claiming the jingoistic causes and effect you are
Read a book
Jim Carroll

Margaret McMillan
'The War that Ended Peace tells the story of how intelligent, well-meaning leaders guided their nations into catastrophe. These epic events, brilliantly described by one our era's most talented historians, warn of the dangers that arise when we fail to anticipate the consequences of our actions. Immersed in intrigue, enlivened by fascinating stories, and made compelling by the author's own insights, this is one of the finest books I have read on the causes of World War I.', Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State
'Once again, Margaret MacMillan proves herself not just a masterly historian but a brilliant storyteller. She brings to life the personalities whose decisions, rivalries, ambitions, and fantasies led Europe to "lay waste to itself" and triggered decades of global conflict. Hers is a cautionary tale of follies a century in the past that seem all too familiar today.', Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution
'The War That Ended Peace is a masterful explanation of the complex forces that brought the Edwardian world crashing down. Utterly riveting, deeply moving, and impeccably researched, MacMillan's latest opus will become the definitive account of old Europe's final years', Amanda Foreman

Professor Christopher Clark
The consensus since the 1960s has been to see Germany as the culprit. While Clark accepts the dominance of a diluted version of the thesis in which the German Empire deliberately chose war as a means of escaping isolation and making a bid for world power, he comments that "the Germans were not the only imperialists and not the only ones to succumb to paranoia". His Balkan emphasis and sympathy for Austria-Hungary's predicament do move the debate towards Russia's policies and actions, which Sean McMeekin's The Russian Origins of the First World War (2011) has highlighted, but for Clark there are no guilty parties. The search for blame, he argues, leads to an assumption that there were culpable decision-makers who had coherent intentions while, in fact, the problem was the lack of men with the power or capability to make decisions

Niall Fergusson
The next work of Ferguson's to attract widespread notice was The Pity of War which was an attempt to re-evaluate Britain's role in the First World War. Ferguson argues mainly that the destruction of that war, which claimed the lives of some nine million men, could well have been avoided. By his reckoning, the war between Germany and Austria on one side and Russia and France on the other was one thing: it was only through the decision of the British that a local war became a world war.
Much of Ferguson's analysis has to do with the decision that brought England into the war. He argues, for example, that Britain went to war because it misread German intentions: they saw Kaiser Wilhelm as another Napoleon, not understanding that Germany's main interests had always been focused on Eastern, rather than Western, Europe. He further argues that the proponents of sending an English army to France -- which was the trigger that made a wider war inevitable -- were a minority, and that it was only because of the lack of conviction of the rest of the cabinet ministers and party leaders that the fateful decision was made. Somewhat surprisingly, Ferguson argues that war with Germany was not even in England's economic interests, since a German overseas presence would only have worked to France's detriment, not Britain's.
Ferguson asserts that Britains decision to enter into this war was historically speaking the greatest error of the twentieth century. Britain was wrong to cross the channel and fight the Germans in 1914. It cost far too much, in blood and money, for the advantage gained. By the end of the 20th century, after all, the Germans had achieved exactly what they wanted in 1914, economic leadership of Europe.

Ruth Hennig
What really marked out the decade before 1914 was a failure of statesmanship and hope.   By 1912, most European governments had come to believe that a general European war was inevitable and that the problems which plagued them at home and abroad could no longer be settled by negotiation and diplomacy…   In these circumstances, war seemed to offer an attractive way out ...   The balance sheet in 1918 proved how wrong they had been.
R. Henig, The Origins of the First World War (1989)

Paul Schroeder
In a 1972 essay "World War I as a Galloping Gertie", Schroeder blamed Britain for the First World War. Schroeder argued that the war was a "Galloping Gertie", in events escalated out of control, sucking in all of the Great Powers into an unwanted war[3] Schroeder that the key factor in the European situation was what he claimed was Britain's "encirclement" policy directed at Austria-Hungary.[4] Schroeder argued that British foreign policy was fundamentally anti-German, and even more so, anti-Austrian[5] Schroeder claimed that 1914 was a "preventive war" forced on Germany to maintain Austria as a power, which faced with a crippling British "encirclement policy" aimed at the break-up of that state[6] His current research focuses on European international politics, 1648-1945, emphasizing systemic evolution and development.

John Clark
Although most modern historians allocate some or most of the blame to Germany, further studies have revealed that there was just as much 'will to war' in other countries. In 1991, the British historian Samuel Williamson, in his book, Austria-Hungary and the Origins of the First World War, argued that Austria-Hungary was equally to blame for the war, marrying a German expansionism with an Austrian desire to expand into the Balkans.   Other historians cited militaristic/bellicose attitudes in France and Britain.   This led some historians after the 1970s to return to Winston Churchill's suggestion that war came in 1914 because of a general restlessness throughout Europe, in which everybody was turning to violence as a way of sorting out their dissatisfactions (for instance, the suffragettes, the trade unions, and both Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, started to use force in the years before 1914).


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 04:47 AM

The complexity and range of the subject under discussion
I'm afraid it is rather large, which will, I know, cause difficulties for you, but....
Read as book - one of these discussed here maybe!!
Jim Carroll

Jay Winter, Antoine Prost. The Great War in History: Debates and Controversies, 1914 to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. viii + 250 pp. $28.99 (paper), ISBN 978-0-521-61633-1.
Reviewed by Kevin Mason (Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Published on H-German (April, 2006)
Different Generations' Perspectives of World War I
Jay Winter and Antoine Prost analyze a multitude of books on World War I written by French, British and German scholars in order to show patterns of themes and methods over time. The authors set themselves a daunting task, as their comparative study considers not only the work of historians, but also encompasses literary works, television shows, films and museums. The book's cover page has a picture of a cemetery with books as tombstones, portraying the countless numbers of books already written on the Great War. Even though most of the writings on the First World War focus on military, political and diplomatic history, the authors add social, cultural and economic history. The work presents a multi-disciplinary, multi-national and multi-methodological approach. Prost and Winter argue that books and films on World War I can be grouped into three different generations (pp. 1-5). The book, originally published in French, examines how seven major themes (diplomatic and economic histories and the histories of generals, soldiers, workers, civilians and memory) have been treated within this three-generation framework. Although the authors leave out some works, do not fully state the arguments of each historian, and force the history of memory and that of workers into a slightly uncomfortable framework, they offer an outstanding historiographical study.
Prost and Winter argue that three different generations interpreted the war within "three historiographical configurations" (p. 31). The first, which they have called the "Generation of 1935," understood events in a nineteenth-century context. These scholars emphasized the nation and wrote history from the top down. The second generation, which witnessed World War II, described the Great War as a "tragedy played out by powerful collective actors: soldiers, workers, civilians" (pp. 200, 203). Finally, the third generation has turned toward cultural history and micro-historical analysis. According to Winter and Prost, regardless of which generation historians belong to, three questions reoccur again and again: "Why and how did the war break out? How was it conducted; how was it won and lost? What were its consequences?" (p. 199).
As first-generation witnesses who wrote immediately after World War I until the 1930s, generals, diplomats and historians wrote the history of the war as a political and diplomatic problem. The key issue was "war guilt"--that is, who started the war. Key sources were diplomatic documents published by the belligerent powers immediately after the war. Winter and Prost maintain that the first generation wrote history from above, focusing on generals, politicians and diplomats but ignoring common soldiers. For example, the highly acclaimed French historian Pierre Renouvin, who wrote a thorough account of the Great War during the interwar period and who was himself wounded in combat, stated, "the evidence of soldiers, the consultation of which is important for the understanding of the atmosphere of battle, can rarely give information on the conduct of operations, since their field of vision was too narrow" (p. 14). This approach was also typical of scholars in Great Britain and Germany.
According to Prost and Winter, the second generation (whose members wrote during the latter half of the twentieth century) contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of books and historical reviews published. In particular, three French war veterans in the 1960s--Andre Ducasse, Jacques Meyer and Gabriel Perreux--reintegrated history from above with the experience of common soldiers and history from below. The second generation emphasized social issues and class conflict, as post-World War II events in Vietnam and Algerian influenced writing about World War I. Marxist historians in particular focused on the laboring classes, miners, workers and peasants. Television became a new medium that reached millions of people. In 1964, the BBC produced the first series on World War I in which viewers saw graphic images; a joint production from France and Germany soon followed. In Britain, A. J. P. Taylor's The First World War: An Illustrated History (1964) likewise used images to portray the war as a reckless waste.
The second generation from the 1960s to the early 1980s shifted its focus from the question of war guilt to war origins and war aims. Arno Mayer contended that after World War I governments replaced the old diplomacy of secret treaties and imperialism with a program of "new diplomacy" that included open diplomacy, freedom of trade, popular self-determination, armaments reduction and an international body that could mediate disputes. Critical to the discussion of war aims was the German historian Fritz Fischer, who in the 1960s asserted that Germany wanted and planned for World War I so that it could dominate Europe. James Joll blamed alliances and imperialism. French Marxists blamed imperialism and capitalism.
Prost and Winter argue that the shift from the second to the third generation involved a smooth switch in emphasis from social to cultural history. Winter and Prost use the term "Generation of 1992" to describe the third generation because in that year, the Historial de la grande guerre opened in Peronne. A French museum inaugurated during a conference on war and culture, it contains objects from France, Germany and Britain (pp. 28, 200, 203). The focus of the third generation was also more micro-historical than global; identity and memory became highly important. The transition is exemplified by the 1996 BBC series The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century, which focused on cultural themes, such as the ideas, behavior, memories and aspirations of soldiers. Scholars of the third generation include Paul Fussell, who wrote The Great War and Modern Memory (1975) and John Keegan, author of The Face of Battle (1976). Instead of considering origins of the war, writers of the third generation focused on problems with the peace settlement that caused another war. They asked, therefore, if the treaty with Germany was too harsh, too lenient or just not enforced. The British economist John Maynard Keynes was an early critic of the treaty, and he had maintained that Germany could never pay the high reparations that the Allies imposed. However, historians of the third generation--such as Gerald Feldman and Niall Ferguson--questioned Keynes's conclusions by arguing that Germany could indeed have paid. In addition, David Stevenson argued that because the Allies could not agree on the treaty enforcement, they severely weakened it. Margaret Macmillan and later Gerd Krumeich have criticized the peacemakers for not giving self-determination to non-whites, which led to unrest in Asia.
The authors also assert that military history fits into the three generations scheme. The central question military historians ask of the war is "who commanded and how?" Prost and Winter distinguish between three periods of military history: a "heroic" phase, a critical history of command and fragmented national histories (p. 59). The "heroic" period (the interwar era), mainly told the story of great men, such as Paul Painleve's book on Philippe Petain (1923), and great battles, like Gabriel Hanotaux's treatment of the Somme (1920). National identity heavily biased many of the writings of the first period. During the second period (1960s-70s), the focus shifted to the history of command. Historians critically analyzed the role of the commanders (Petain, Helmuth von Moltke, Erich Ludendorff) and the political leaders (Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Raymond Poincaré). Television series on World War I likewise shifted to a more realistic portrayal of the war. The result was a depiction of anger, frustration and stalemate. The Vietnam and Algerian wars led to a highly fragmented third phase of military history during the 1980s and 1990s and "new" military historians emerged. Some contended that command witnessed a "learning curve," but others asserted that leaders stubbornly repeated the same mistakes (pp. 79-80).
Regarding the military history of the "soldiers," the authors also contend that this particular aspect of military history has changed greatly over time and can be categorized into three main periods. First-generation historians of the Great War, like Renouvin, left out the soldiers and took a top-down approach. Petain had written about the French mutiny without focusing on the mutineers. After the 1960s, works of the second period emphasized the role of the soldiers and relied on soldiers' memoirs and accounts. Gabriel Perreux examined civilian life and Guy Pedroncini studied the soldiers involved in the French mutiny. Keegan's Face of Battle (1976) discussed the battlefield in terms of bombardments, plans and soldiers' behavior. Jean-Jacques Becker analyzed the mobilization of troops. More recent historians, of the third generation--such as John Fuller, John Horne and Alan Kramer, Jean-Yves Le Naour, Anne Lipp and Annette Becker--have examined cultural topics, such as leisure activities in the trenches; the social class of the soldiers; violence during war; the language of the soldiers' letters; sexual practices of the troops; wartime morale; and war culture.
According to Winter and Prost, the economic history of the Great War falls likewise falls into three historiographical generations. In the first period, scholars analyzed the leadership's economic policies. Keynes asserted that Germany could not pay the reparations. Besides reparations, another issue that concerned first generation historians was the legality of the Allied blockade. In the 1920s and 1930s the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace commissioned a series of books that argued that the war had ended the free market and replaced it with state price controls. Carnegie Endowment historians concluded that the blockade was vital in defeating Germany. In the 1960s and 1970s, the second generation emphasized the partnership between big industry, economic interest groups and the military. C. Wright Mills focused on "power elites"-- civilians in positions of power. In the 1960s, historians blamed Germany's defeat on its economic failures, namely its inability to supply its troops and civilians. The Allies won because they had much more efficient methods of distribution. Winter and Prost argue that the first generation of economic history was "public history," while in the 1960s economic history became "structural history" (pp. 115-116). Fischer is characteristic of the new trend in the 1960s in showing how the industry, military and navy collaborated in seeking war aims and influencing Germany's economic and war policies.
Third-generation scholars pursued a research agenda that combines the interests of the first two generations and examined the wartime economy as a complex system for distributing goods to the frontline and home front. In the 1980s and 1990s, the third generation emphasized "economic war aims and their international consequences" (p. 119). Kathleen Burk has examined how American and British global finances were used to fund the Allied war effort. Other third-generation historians have focused on the scientists and scientific advancements that occurred during the war, such as poison gas, Novocain and other new drugs. The French historian Olivier Lepick examined the chemist Fritz Haber and the British author Donald Richter also studied the role of chemists. In regard to the question of who actually won the economic war, historians of the third generation, like Gerald Feldman, maintained that inflation and economic misery occurred throughout Europe and was not restricted to the losers (pp. 119-123).
Unsurprisingly, then, the authors argue that the history of civilian population falls into three distinct generations. First, in the 1920s and 1930s civilians were seen simply as "masses" or pawns "mobilized, protected, or coerced" (p. 152). During the second generation, historians first became interested in the home front, with an emphasis on social unrest and revolution at the end of the war. Jürgen Kocka's Klassengesellschaft im Krieg (1973), on the social origins of German revolution, is one example. During the third phase, focus fell on the cultural history of the civilian population. Third-generation scholars turned to issues such as memory, "war cultures" and gender studies. One of the more fascinating works from the last group is Vejas Liulevicius's War Land on the Eastern Front (2000), which examines the German occupation of Poland and the Baltic during World War I. Liulevicius argues that already during this time a culture war was underway in which "superior" western views were forced onto "inferior eastern" peoples.
The history of memory and the history of workers during World War I have not gone through three fully developed phases and are exceptions to the authors' main thesis. Regarding workers and revolution, the authors state that the shift from the first to the second generation came later and that the third generation "exists only in a sketchy form" (p. 126). During the first generation from 1919-1965, the emphasis was on a political history of labor. In the 1920s, British historian Arthur Bowley wrote on prices, wages and mining. The first generation also examined the history of the Social Democrats in France, Germany, Great Britain and Russia. Marxist views heavily influenced authors writing in the 1960s, who often saw the Social Democrats as traitors to the revolution. Communism was a main focus of the first generation. The second generation (1965-2000) shifted from the politics of the labor movement to social history. Authors focused on new themes, including strike activity, trade unions and women in the workforce. There has been a modest drive toward more cultural history of labor, focusing on such things as mentalities of the workers, workers' pacifism and reformist aspirations.
Furthermore, the history of memory only fits into two historiographic periods rather than three. During the first period from 1918 to 1970, memory was dominated by the veterans of the war. The memory of combatants was a mostly male sphere. Great leaders, like Winston Churchill and Ludendorff, published most of the memoirs. During the second period (1970-2000), most of the survivors of World War I had died and memory work shifted to commemoration. Recent themes of the second period have included the mentality of the troops, shell shock and psychological disorders.
Winter and Prost offer a breathtaking and extensive study of World War I that includes books and films. Even though (as they themselves admit) the authors cannot possibly cover every single book ever written on the Great War, they cover the most important ones. There are some omissions. The authors acknowledge Samuel R. Williamson's argument that no one had predicted the collapse of Austria-Hungary before World War I and that Austrian domestic and foreign policies were closely related, but they do not restate his claim that Austria-Hungary was most responsible for beginning the war because of its preventive war against Serbia.[1] Nor do they discuss Paul Kennedy's argument that economic factors motivated the Anglo-German antagonism.[2] Overall, however, the book is a very well written, well researched, and interesting study--a must read for advanced history students who are interested in a comparative analysis of World War I or preparing for comprehensive exams. This book should serve as a model for a similar study of World War I books and films in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
Notes
[1]. Samuel R. Williamson, Jr., Austria-Hungary and the Origins of the First World War (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991).
[2]. Paul Kennedy, The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, 1860-1914 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1980; 2nd ed., 1996).


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 05:24 AM

Thanks Jim.

I am not interested in politics or philosophy.
I am only interested in establishing the truth of these 3 points.

Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught.
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that.
The British army was not badly led.

Are you aware of any living historian who contradicts my simple case?
If not, I am done with this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 05:53 AM

John Clark?
I think you mean John D Clare, the schoolteacher and blogger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 06:37 AM

You stupid, stupid little man.
You asked for historians that who don't accept your view of WW1 - you have been given them over and over again, now you have more, along with what they actually said.
I also gave a source to many, many more qualified historians who who are in the process of debate on the war, and as Grishka said earlier, there will be many more emerging later in the coming year.
He also wisely added that it is stupid to pull up historians randomly to back your case.
"Britain had no choice....."
The mindless repetition of your argument, in spite of the evidence you have now been deluged with shows what a flag-waving, agenda driven moron you actually are - something else that will never change.
Game, set and match - over and out
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 06:43 AM

So, are there any NOW who dispute that,

Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught?
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that?
The British army was not badly led?

That is my only case, I have shown that a lot of historians say the same, so where are the others?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 09:56 AM

I have shown that a lot of historians say the same,

Gee, Keith, you used to claim that ALL historians thought as you do. Now its only "a lot"?

You're finally headed in the right direction & when uou get to "a few" you'll be right on the money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 10:35 AM

I never claimed to SHOW that they all did Greg, but all of you together could not find a single dissenter, so I came to believe that, yes.

Musket too.
"As of now I'm officially a historian. Now you don't have to keep saying "the historians" all the time. Because I'm a dissenting one. "

So the only dissenting historian is the Mudcat Muppet.

Likewise Jim.
He put up pages of unreadable tosh and hoped people would believe.

You lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 11:28 AM

Why did you extract the one comment by that secretary and ignore all the clear evidence that the military considered the threat of invasion as very real?

I didn't so much extract one comment as did a little reading when I went to the link you provided. Just above the quote you included in your post that comment caught my eye. I figured since I got it directly from information you provided that you would not be so quick to dismiss it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 12:17 PM

"He put up pages of unreadable tosh"
Only to morons Keith
Read a book
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 12:58 PM

I am probably the only person in the world who did read all that stuff Jim.
That is how I spotted the wrong name you gave for the person who was not even a historian.
You should read a book by someone still alive Jim.
You lose.

KB, I dismissed nothing.
I chose an extract that reflected the view of the whole piece, and provided a link for anyone to check the truth of it.

Why did you dismiss everything but that one secretary's comment?
Did you even know what CID was?
What about the still to be seen markers to guide refugees inland while leaving roads clear to rush troops to the front?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 01:11 PM

all of you together could not find a single dissenter

Bullshit. As per usual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 01:25 PM

Remind us then Greg!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 04:44 PM

I think if you look carefully , I didn't say historians were stupid, stupid and should hang their head in shame. I addressed that to Keith A Hole of Hertford personally.

Views aren't facts, they are views. Most of the historians you pray to on your knees begin by setting a scene then give their take on it.

When you grow up you too may learn how to read history books in order to form your own view. In the meantime, stop ranting at the grown ups. Precocious children should be seen and not heard. Although in your case, seeing you wouldn't add to the world 's sum of knowledge either.

We appear to have gone from all to some historians. Any advance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 04:19 AM

You called me that for quoting historians.
How can it not apply to those historians?
You did say that "historians should know better" like you do.

If it is not all living historians, point out some dissenters.
You have already had two months to find one.
How long do you need?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 05:11 AM

Have you seem the front page of The Observer yet Keith?

Not just me who has rumbled the propaganda drive to sanitise history then.

Add that to the article in The Independent about the historian (she was still alive as if yesterday if you wish to see provenance) who spoke of the dangers of stupidly sleepwalking into war again as we all did for all the wrong reasons in 1914.

Apologies to be directed to the usual place. Here where people can read them please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 05:19 AM

I have the observer piece in front of me.
Neither it nor the Independent piece contradicts my case.
A quotes from the Observer.

" Few on the left would wish to defend Kaiser Wilhelm II against such charges of militarism. "First cow the socialists, behead them and make them harmless, with a bloodbath if necessary, and then make war abroad. But not before and not both together," was his advice to his chancellor, Bernhard von Bülow, in 1905.

The British left responded to such fascism by largely supporting the war effort. Appeals by trade union leaders to oppose German aggression, particularly against Belgium, led more than 250,000 of their members to enlist by Christmas 1914, with 25% of miners volunteering before conscription. Typical was John Ward, one of my predecessors as MP for Stoke-on-Trent and the leader of the Navvies' Union. To "fight Prussianism", he raised three pioneer battalions from his members and, commissioned as a colonel by Lord Kitchener, led them to battle in France, Italy and Russia."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 06:38 AM

Margaret Macmillan is quoted.
"I did not say, as Mr Gove suggests, that British soldiers in the first world war were consciously fighting for western liberal order. They were just defending their homeland and fighting what they saw as German militarism."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 11:46 AM

Now that it has been fully established that there is a majority consensus on the causes and conduct of World War One (which will remain n place until someone establishes another) leaving the jingoist arguments dead n the water - for the present at least, perhaps it's worth putting the aftermath of the war into context - hopefully part of the coming commemoration year anniversary events, should the powers-that-be allow it to happen.
Those who went were promised "a land fit for heroes to live in" - they came back to poverty, unemployment and starvation - hunger marches became the only form of protest possible.
Excessive reparation demands, leading to an even worse situation in Germany, opened the door to Nazism.
Germany was allowed to re-arm and the rise of Hitler was virtually ignored by all but a few of the British establishment, many of whom chummed up with his regime, in some cases giving open support, including a British monarch and the proprietor of The Daily Mail (Max Hasting's present literary source of employment), Lord Rothermere.
Members of the British nobility and hierarchy, notably including Arthur Wellesley, 5th Duke of Wellington, formed support groups for Hitler's anti-Semitic programme, dismissing reports of the persecution of the Jews as "the invention of whingeing Yids".
Even while the WW2 was taking place, some of them where forming the makings of a Provisional Government in order to take over when "Germany was victorious".
(All this has been discussed on this forum before, our resident jingoist passing off these groups as being "harmless".)
The opportunity to stop the rise of fascism in Spain was not only ignored, but those Britons who volunteered to fight there were ostracised as "premature anti-fascists" and many were criminalised - many also lost their religion because the Catholic (Christian) Church backed Spanish fascism.
Hitler was allowed to 'blood' his Luftwaffe on the citizens of Madrid and Guernica.
Even on the eve of war Britain's leadership was still trying to appease German anti-Semitic fascism with little bits of paper calling for "peace in our time".
The fact is that the brave men who fought and died in WW1, won the war, the politicians and big business sold out that victory and lost the peace - "and we started all over again" as the song says.
It will be interesting to see if the BBC project covers this aspect of the war, or will they claim it to be "thread drift" as I'm sure somebody not a thousand miles from here undoubtedly will - not naming names, you understand!!!
Jim Carroll.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 11:55 AM

Not much point in being highly selective Keith, quoting two or three sentences from long pieces. People can read them in their entirety.

Busted flush.

Does the Secretary of State know the looney fringe support his stance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 12:06 PM

I agree with your first sentence Jim.
Now that it has been fully established that there is a majority consensus on the causes and conduct of World War One

Yes, among historians at least, with NO dissenters yet identified in terms of my 3 points.

The rest of your post is just you imagining you are a historian and passing down to the world the fruits of your knowledge, wisdom and research.(chuckle)

Jim, you are not even familiar with the work of ONE living historian.
You know nothing about WW1.

Please respond to this.
"The British left responded to such fascism by largely supporting the war effort. Appeals by trade union leaders to oppose German aggression, particularly against Belgium, led more than 250,000 of their members to enlist by Christmas 1914, with 25% of miners volunteering before conscription. Typical was John Ward, one of my predecessors as MP for Stoke-on-Trent and the leader of the Navvies' Union. To "fight Prussianism", he raised three pioneer battalions from his members and, commissioned as a colonel by Lord Kitchener, led them to battle in France, Italy and Russia."

Inspired by socialism, not jingoism Jim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 12:19 PM

Musket, yes people can read it all.
Presumably you have, but can find nothing.

Are there any living historians whose views contradict mine and support yours?
No.
Discussion over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 01:46 PM

"I agree with your first sentence Jim."
Keith - whether you agree or disagree with me is as little interest to me as what Nick Griffin thinks about what I believe - the parallels are obvious, except that you are now expressing views that would disbar you from membership of the BNP as being too openly extreme.
Your mindless repetition of opinions that have been debunked by half a century's education - and here, a library's worth of up-to date evidence is indication enough for me that you have nothing to contribute here.
You started on your own and you remain on your own, offering only sneers as response to real information   
Arguing with you has now become like trying to communicate with an extremely disturbed child with acute learning difficulties - you have admitted as much by confessing that you are unable to understand a simple document (though you have claimed to have made the subject a life-long study - where did you go for for your information - Biggles!!!)
I have set out how I believe those who fought and died in the trenches were thanked for their efforts - not by the left, by the British establishment.
You want to take part in that aspect - feel free - I shan't respond - I'm not qualified to deal with disturbed children and village idiots.
You want to discss the left's attitude to the war - feel free - the left had nothing to do with the way the soldiers were treated - except to take a leading part in the hunger marches made necessary by the inhuman behaviour of the British establishment
You really have shot your bolt here - I hope for the last time, though sadly, I doubt it - you seem totally insensitive to the image you have created for yourself.
Yours as ever
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 01:59 PM

She was living as of the other day!

Dozy cunt.

Look. If you have a mental health issue that exhibits irrational homing in on things, being unable to think things through, then I apologise for laughing at you.

That's the problem with the internet. You can't weigh people up. I find that 20 mins into a conversation I know whether to be upfront or humour them.

Your last statement, coupled with your illogical stance on other threads precludes my being able to shout at you I suppose. If you want me to take you at face value then conceding gracefully would be a good start. Otherwise, Jim's observation might turn out to be on the button.

You see, and I am being sincere here, you are so illogical on so many issues that you are either a compulsive contradiction bod or the observations that your stances support right wing reactionary bullshit are somewhat accurate.

I hope the former. I fear the latter.

There is supposed to be one on every village. We appear to attract a commune of them on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 02:37 PM

Musket, if you would share with us who "she" is, we could discuss it.

Are you saying "she" is an historian whose views contradict my three points?
That would be one, and "she" has taken 10 weeks to find!
Will it be another 10 weeks for the name?
Another 10 for a quote?

I have produced numerous quotes from many historians contradicting your version of history.

If you can not find one to contradict mine, the debate is over, and you lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 02:58 PM

"We appear to attract a commune of them on Mudcat."
In fairness Muskie - there are very few of them on this forum - though they do seem to appointed a leader - by default.
Argument is one thing, inarticulate and repetitive grunts quite another.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 03:10 PM

Jim.
you are now expressing views that would disbar you from membership of the BNP as being too openly extreme.
That is a serious accusation Jim.
It is also a nasty lie.
Whenever you lose , out comes the lying personal attack.

YOU KNOW YOU CANNOT PRODUCE ANY SUCH THING.
YOU ARE A LOSER AND A LIAR.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 03:42 PM

Why does anybody bother with Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 08:18 PM

True enough attempts to rally the Trades Unions and the left to oppose the war failed. And the same happened in Germany.

That's the madness of war fever.

Once a war is declared there's virtually always a surge of support. However Ill conceived and disastrous it turns out to be.

Nothing has changed there really.

The really crazy and criminal thing is that after the Schlieffen Plan failed there wasn't a rapid Armistice. But the fact that at that time the war was popular on both sides got in the way of anything like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 10:22 PM

The fatal thing was the sentiment so well expressed in the last lines of In Flanders Fields, written in early 1915:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.


It's the losing gamblers temptation, the feeling that if you don't carry on all that you have lost in lost in vain. But reinforced by the sense that failing to do so would be to betray those who have died. It repeats itself in every bloody conflict, and keeps them dragging on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jan 14 - 10:31 PM

Here is how the words read in German:

Nehmt auf unseren Streit mit dem Feind:
aus sinkender Hand werfen wir Euch
Die Fackel zu, die Eure sei, sie hoch zu halten.
Brecht Ihr den Bund mit uns, die wir sterben
So werden wir nicht schlafen, obgleich Mohn wächst
Auf Flanderns Feldern


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 03:58 AM

"True enough attempts to rally the Trades Unions and the left to oppose the war failed. And the same happened in Germany."
That was the line of the left throughout Europe at the time.
The same line was adopted at the outbreak of WW2, when they claimed that workers should not be fighting workers.
I have to confess, until I read Richard M Watt's remarkable book, 'The Kings Depart' I had never realised how near to success the German workers came to overthrowing the system in the aftermath of the war.
Far from returning to "a land fit for heroes to live in" British soldiers returned from the trenches to conditions far worse than when they left.
Disaffected soldiers who couldn't find peacetime employment were sent to Ireland in the form of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries to suppress the Irish demands for independence
They had been so dehumanised by their experiences in the war that they gained a reputation for brutality that remains today.
In 1926, following the coal-owners policy of cutting wages and increasing hours in the pits, soldiers were sent in to help break the strike - again, the brutality used became legendary - a previously volunteer army had been quickly turned into a conscripted tool of the state - worker against worker.
Coincidentally, last night we watched an extremely moving depiction of the miners strike that followed the General Strike in parts of the North of England and Scotland.
Scenes depicted soldiers brutalising striking miners (some of them war veterans - including decorated heroes) and their families, backed by the newly emerged British Fascist Party, who smashed up the soup kitchens and beat up demonstraters.
The authenticity of the events portrayed were fully confirmed by interviews with members of some of the striking miner's families at the beginning and end of the film.
The film 'There is a Happy Land' was set in Fife, in Scotland and was a BBC Scotland/Scottish Theatre Workshop production - one of the co-writers was Peter Cox, the author of the excellent book on the Radio Ballads, 'Set Into Song' - very highly recommended.
Fascinating to see how recently revealed documents show that Scum Thatcher planned to use the army yet again against striking miners - leopards - spots and all that.
"It is also a nasty lie."
I've yet to hear a B.N.P. spokesman declare in public that "all male Pakistanis.... implant"
Now that's what I call a serious accusation!!   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:12 AM

And he follows the lying, personal attack with several changes of subject.
You are so predictable when you lose Jim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:18 AM

Oh no - not the dreaded 'thread drift' gambit!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:21 AM

You can discuss whatever you like but the fact remains, I have produced numerous quotes from many historians contradicting your version of history.

If you can not find one to contradict mine, the debate is over, and you lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:24 AM

you are now expressing views that would disbar you from membership of the BNP as being too openly extreme.

"now expressing"
I never have, but the lie you put up was from years ago anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:59 AM

Great that we have found a soldier still alive who was there!

Private Baldrick seems to agree with most of the pre sanitisation accounts.

I reckon it is hilarious that Keith says it must be true because it is on The BBC website. At the same time, his soulmate Michael Gove is saying BBC is a left wing plot. Alan Clark is coming in for some flack mind. I suppose being dead precludes paying him to rewrite history in the same way Hastings & co seem to be these days.

You couldn't make it up...

But many are doing recently, it seems.






Wibble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 05:09 AM

If it is on the BBC website, you can not just dismiss it musket.
It gives credibility.
The historians BBC commissioned clearly contradict your version of History while supporting mine.

But then, we have not found one single historian yet who does not contradict you or support me.
That strongly suggests I was right all along, and you lot wrong.
I am satisfied with that and have no more to say.

But wait!
There is one.
"she"

Have you remembered her name yet muppet?
When did she appear in the Indie?
What did she say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 06:16 AM

Perhaps you though Chris. Newton was a she.
He wrote in the Indie yesterday.

"Critics have dismissed this history and military history in general as jingoistic. But if you read the works of Sheffield, Philpott and others, you will find that this caricature misses the mark. Revisionists come from across the political spectrum. Their works are based on years of scholarly archival research. Moreover, revisionists do criticise cases of poor decision-making where they consider that the evidence justifies it."
"The durability and credibility of revisionism is reflected through the fact that this body of work continues to grow. New books will be published this year. And there are large cohorts of First World War doctoral students in British universities, who will be building on this work over the next few years."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 06:35 AM

"You can discuss whatever you like but the fact remains, I have produced numerous quotes from many historians contradicting your version of history"
Used to be all modern historians - good soldiers never give ground
You've actually produced a tiny minority and ignored the general views - "general - not General - you'd never contradict an officer now, would you)
"You can discuss whatever you like "
That's damned big of you.
It appears that soldiers having a right to expect the promises they were given before they were sent to be slaughtered and our right to discuss the fulfillment of those promises is an alien concept to you.
As you were - and will always be private.
Pip-pip
Jim Caroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 06:41 AM

I note that Keith now appears to have accepted that it is correct at this stage to use the term "revisionist" to refer to those sharing his views.   

These terms do get confusing, as when the term "conservative" is applies to Communists in the context of modern Russia.

One thing I find puzzling in Keith's posts is that he seems under the impression that those who see the Great War as a disaster that could have been avoided, or believe that terrible mistakes were made by those organising the killing also believe that the war was generally unpopular throughout. That is not a view I have ever come across. Sadly the reverse appears to have been the case well into the war on both sides, as is generally the case in wars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 07:01 AM

Kevin.
The term is confusing because it is the second round of revisionism after Liddel Hart, Clark and co.
You do not describe my view, which is simply this.

Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught.
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that.
The British army was not badly led.

Jim.
How could I have produced quotes from all?!
Why would I claim such shit.

The fact remains, I have produced numerous quotes from many historians contradicting your version of history.

If you can not find one to contradict mine, the debate is over, and you lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 07:57 AM

The German people also believed that they had no choice but to make a war which they believe had been forced on them, and overwhelmingly supported it.

Whether or not there was support for the war on either side is not the point.

Nor is it actually particularly significant what the views of a number of academic historians might be at a particular time. Such things ebb and flow, and it is doubtful whether there is ever any final and unambiguously correct "verdict of history".

The point is that this was was a catastrophe that has continued to have disastrous consequences throughout the last century, and is continuing to do so. Terrible mistakes were made by political and military leaders which contributed to this. How far it it right to see them as guilty or stupid in making their decisions are interesting enough questions, but not particularly significant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 08:17 AM

"Why would I claim such shit."
Seems your stock-in-trade
Any lone voice who dismisses argument as "casting pearls before swine" and making statements such as "I am probably the only person in the world who did read all that stuff Jim." is some sort of meglomanic moron
Top of the world ma
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 09:52 AM

The German people also believed that they had no choice but to make a war which they believe had been forced on them, and overwhelmingly supported it.

That may well be true, but our people were fighting a defensive war against their aggression.

Nor is it actually particularly significant what the views of a number of academic historians might be at a particular time.

I strongly disagree.
What is the point of historians and research if their findings can just be dismissed by you.
How do we know what history to teach our kids?

We get our history from our historians, and that history is constantly being refined and improved.
Are you saying, like Musket, that historians should know better?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 10:46 AM

Jim.
You've actually produced a tiny minority and ignored the general views

If that is true, where are all the "general view" historians?
In ten weeks, you and all your mates have found...... er, none.
How "general view" can it be?
I found a couple more to add to my "tiny minority" just since yesterday.
I am not even sure how many I have now.


The fact remains, I have produced numerous quotes from many historians contradicting your version of history.

As you can not find any, not even one, to contradict mine, the debate is over, and you lost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 11:07 AM

As you seem to be looking at The Independent, (you quoted the wrong person, wrong gender by the way Keith, do keep up..) let's see who else writes in that paper..

Ah! An article defending the butcher of The Somme and saying how well led everybody was, and how the politicians were bang on, didn't have to lie or exaggerate.

You must add the author to your list of credible people who write in newspapers. His name? Oh.. Nigel Farage. Rather odd that you and he share a view? Unless... Oh.

In the meantime, I notice he gave a speech praising Enoch Powell's rivers of blood speech yesterday. You must be rather proud of him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 11:11 AM

"If that is true, where are all the "general view" historians?"
You've been given them over and over again.
You have just been given statements by half a dozen of them (one of them your own witness) and a fact sheet explaining the debate going on about the nuances of the war, which you have described as "readable (were you really a teacher - jeez)
You have ignored them all and continue to persist with your claim that
you haven't been given any
What's the weather like on the planet Zog?
Get help - maybe from your phantom voices or your non-existent historians
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 12:14 PM

Meant to add - you are now attempting to turn this into one of your circular arguments to avid the important fats.
I has been established and is now totally accepted that soldiers were persuaded and tricked into joining up - so much so that 18 months after the war began the authorities were forced to admit that their recruiting campaign had failed
The war was an Imperialist one between interested powers competing for international influence and markets (never contradicted, and even supported by your own 'historians and (and tabloid journalists)
The soldiers - those who survived - returned home and were treated like shit - sent to fight in Ireland and turned against their fellow workers who were fighting to survive,
British governments mishandled the peace and betrayed the people again y plunging them into yet another war
They did nothing to stop the rise of Hitler, rather, some of the prominent members encouraged him in his efforts to wipe out the Jews
Never gets more simple than that
Beware of circular arguments - you end up disappearing up your own jaxie
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 12:20 PM

(you quoted the wrong person, wrong gender by the way Keith, do keep up..)

Why do we have to guess?
Stop playing moronic muppet games and tell us who it is, if it is a real person!
Why can you people never just debate the issues without all this shit, abuse, personal attack,....
Just discuss!

You've been given them over and over again.
No.
I have been asking for them over and over again for ten weeks!

You have just been given statements by half a dozen of them


Not that old trick of putting up pages of text and pretending there is something hidden amongst it.
If you have one, just give a name and a quote like I do.
You can't do that though.
Right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 12:25 PM

I has been established and is now totally accepted that soldiers were persuaded and tricked into joining up - so much so that 18 months after the war began the authorities were forced to admit that their recruiting campaign had failed

You just made that up Jim.
Show me anyone else who think s that.
I have shown exactly the opposite.

We could discuss the inter war years some time.
You would find I hold similar opinions to you on how veterans were treated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 02:56 PM

After 18 months conscription was brought in in Great Britain because the pool of volunteers had run out. If that had not been the case conscription would not have been imposed.

If history academics reach a judgement that mistaken tactics which resulted in enormous numbers of casualties for no gain were the result of decisions which were reasonable in the circumstances, that is interesting - but it does not alter the fact that these tactics were in fact the wrong tactics. And that is what matters, not the question whether or not individual blame should be given to the generals involved. They did of course escape any such blame at the time, and lived out their lives free from any adverse consequence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:01 PM

"Show me anyone else who think s that."
Oh - for ****'s sake
Your own historians think accept that this is the general view held by traditional historians and by the general public that is why they have insisted that things "must be changed" - read your own postings.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 04:26 PM

I will not believe "the general public" over historians.
Are there still any "traditional historians"
If so, why have none of you found even one?

Kevin, research apparently shows that the troops did not feel duped and did believe in what they were fighting for, just as they did when fighting the Nazis when conscription also became necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 05:08 PM

research apparently shows that the troops did not feel duped

Specifically what "research"? Your web surfing?

"Apparently"? Apparent to who other than yourself?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 05:54 PM

So what? I think it very likely that most soldiers on both sides in every war are likely to feel that they are fighting on the right side. Insofar as they actually think about such things rather than about soldiering on and trying to survive and help their mates survive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 03:14 AM

So what?
I am just defending 3 views.
Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught?
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that?
The British army was not badly led?

Jim just said, "I has been established and is now totally accepted that soldiers were persuaded and tricked into joining up"

That is the opposite of the truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 03:16 AM

Greg, I was referring to the years of research from original, contemporary sources by dedicated and brilliant historians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 03:55 AM

"Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught?"
One of your historians said Britain "sleep-walked into war" - you said "all" modern historians agreed with you and have continually demanded that we produce one who doesn't - you have been given dozens.
"Jim just said, "I has been established and is now totally accepted that soldiers were persuaded and tricked into joining up""
They were and it is
They were promised "a land fit for heroes to live in' - they returned to twenty-one poverty, hunger deprivation, industrial strife, man against man, economic depression - and then another war.
They were also told world war one would be "a war to end all wars"
It took 21 years to establish that as a lie
What's not been established in those facts?
Britain "sleepwalked into the war, allowed Germany to re-arm, ignored the rise of 'conquered' Germany and criminalised those who attempted to stop Hiltler's rise to power
Can there be any greater betrayal than any of this?
You will not answer any of these FACTS but will continue to haggle over a battle you lost on day one by claiming non-statements by non-existent historians.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:04 AM

I would be happy discuss the post war years with you, and I think we would find much common ground.

There are libraries of books about the events and "might have beens" in the years leading up to the war.
I am passing no opinion on that.

Once Germany unleashed its armies and invaded Belgium, Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught.
The British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:24 AM

Principally believing in a cause and joining up to fight for it are two different things (as we already found in the other thread). Propaganda and pressure are established methods of military leadership, and principally considered as justified as the campaign itself. In other words: as long as the war lasts, propaganda lies are accepted, and it is considered unpatriotic to expose them as such. See, for example, the re-election of George W. Bush.

After the war, and preferably before it, governments must be made responsible for their mistakes and negligence, even if (self-declared) "victorious". Often they will try to avoid this by prolonging the propaganda and thus conserving the spirit of warfare. If that works, the next war is imminent.

Most people have a desire to belong to a glorious nation and religion. This can be tolerated to some extent: there is nothing intrinsically wrong with being British, US American (WASP), German, Christian, or Muslim. The problem is that leaders exploit this feeling for particular agendas, often referring to traditions that cannot be approved of from a present-day point of view. We must resist such agendas in our own interest (not only to do justice to victims of crimes and criminal negligence committed by "our people").

It is a wonderful thing to be heir to rich cultures and strong feelings of identity. We can and should enjoy them without pretending to own any truth or righteousness collectively. If we want, we can be proud of them, to the extent that we have worked on them ourselves. Any excessive such pride is foolish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket MC
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:41 AM

In the blueeeee. Ccoorrrnnneeerrrrrr!!!!!

Michael Gove
Max Hastings
Keith A Hole of Hertford
Nigel Farage

in the rreeeedddddd cooorrrnneeerrrr!!!!!!!!

Baldrick
Respectable reality


On a serious note Keith, you ask who people can't debate properly. I reckon they can, I certainly can. You are the one stifling it. Hence not taking you seriously at all...


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:44 AM

"I would be happy discuss the post war years with you, and I think we would find much common ground."
I'm not interested in discussing anything with you here - you are a lying no-mark who appears to know nothing about anything
The post war years are part of the discussion on this subject - why man went to war, what they were promised, whether those promises where kept.
You have been given two more reasons why they went, to add to the fourteen you have already been given - you either denied or accused me of inventing the first fourteen, you will ignore the two you have just been given - acid test to this - where they given? Where they fulfilled, yes or no
Nothing - why did I already know this?
All your historians havew admitted that the present thinking on World War one "needs to be changed?"
You arwe claiming that present thinking on World War One "agrees with me".
You are an extremeist nutter whose views have always coincided with those of extremist right-wing organisations (would you like me to link to to your openly supporting claims from an extremist organisation, directly lifted from their web-site) - no - I didn't think so.
Please go and find a Beir Keller and organise a rally - stop polluting this site with your extremism.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:46 AM

What is your obsession with Farage all about?
Why must you call me names like "cunt" and why all the other shit?
And why have you left out all the other historians I have quoted at length in support of my views, and why can't any of you find even one?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:54 AM

The post war years are part of the discussion on this subject

I disagree, and will not be joining in.
You alone have raised it, but you always try to change the subject when your arguments fail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 05:58 AM

Answer the question
Those who volunteered were promised "a land fit for heroes to live in" - yes or no?
Did they get a "land fit for heroes to live in"
Yes or no?
They were promised that World War One would be "a war to end wars" - yes or no?
Was World War One "a war to end wars" -yes or no?
If neither of these promises where fulfilled the volunteers were tricked into joining - yes or no?
Why are promises made to soldiers non part of this discussion - which is actually about the Christmas truce by the way, before you start hiding behind "thread drift" again.
You have been given the fact that even your own historians have stated that "the current view of history must be changed" - where have my arguments "failed"?
I don't for one minute expect a single answer to any of this - which is fine - your dishonesty in deliberately and openly refusing to respond to salient points because they smash your entire stance to smithereens is proof enough that you are little more than an extremist prosletiser
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 06:25 AM

Those who volunteered were promised "a land fit for heroes to live in" - yes or no?
No.

Did they get a "land fit for heroes to live in"
Yes or no?

No.

They were promised that World War One would be "a war to end wars" - yes or no?

No.

Was World War One "a war to end wars" -yes or no?

No

If neither of these promises where fulfilled the volunteers were tricked into joining - yes or no?

No.

Why are promises made to soldiers non part of this discussion - which is actually about the Christmas truce by the way, before you start hiding behind "thread drift" again.

No such promises were made.

You have been given the fact that even your own historians have stated that "the current view of history must be changed" - where have my arguments "failed"?

YOURS is "the current view of history must be changed"


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 06:30 AM

Two quick points
Are you aware that whenever you are faced with questions you are unable to answer you scream "thread drift" and claim that your opponent (all of us) has only raised those questions because wwe have "post the argument".
I wish Muskie wi#ould stop calling you a "c**t", which is a rather unpleasant sexist term which actually means a part of the female anatomy which is essential to the life of all of us and at one time or another has given most of us a great deal of pleasure.
I can't conceive (pun intended) of anything further in description of your evil self
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 06:31 AM

I should expand briefly to save time later.

The "land fit for heroes" pledge was made at the end of the war.

"War to end wars" was a public aspiration, not a promise made by anyone and certainly not by government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 08:14 AM

We have failed to respond honestly to two essential factors relating to soldiers volunteering to fight in Word War One
"A world fit for heroes to live in" was never adhered to by the British authorities - it was never intended to - it was a recruiting lie which appeared on recruiting literature - you have been give links to such literature.
"A war to end wars" was also a part of the propaganda campaigns, which was tightly controlled and instigated by those responsible for propaganda.
Troops were sent immediately to Ireland to fight - they had been brutilised by their experiences in the trenches and terrorised the population of Ireland for two years - their reputation of having done so is fully documented and remains as a lasting smear on the British reputation nearly a century later.
The responsibility for this lies entirely with the British authorities who sent them to fight in such conditions and failed to repatriate them to their promised "land fit for heroes to live in"
Many miners who fought returned to pay cuts and increased hours in the abominable conditions of the mines.
The government responded to their protests by sending their comrades from the trenches to violently suppress any actions on the part of dissenting miners.
That suppression took place was assisted by members of the newly formed British Fascist Party who smashed up soup kitchens and beat up protesting miners.
Industrial unrest was met with armed resistance by government troops and police and lasted from 1919 to the mid twenties, a number of fatalities caused by military intervention were recorded in Scotland, Yorkshire, London and elsewhere.
Protests to the following Great Depression were also suppressed violently, including with military intervention.
Elsewhere, the Fascists were allowed to develop their organisations without opposition, other than that organised by ordinary people - those protests were also met with violent opposition from Government forces.
The leaders of the Fascist groups and supporters of German fascism came predominantly from the upper echelons of British society - peers of the realm, prominent industrialists and businessmen, even a monarch.
The monarch who openly befriended "Herr Hitler" was forced to abdicate, not because f his support for fascism, but because he married a divorcee
The Government did nothing to stop the irse of Fascism in Britain and they allowed German Fascism to rearm - they totally ignored the persecution of the Jews.
Those opposing the growth of Fascism in Europe were criminalised and attacked by the police - those who went to Spain were giver criminal records, ostracised and blacklisted.
Britain continued to appease German Fascism to the eve of the war - even after the invasions of Poland and Czechoslovakia, the British Prime Minister came back waving a piece of paper declaring "peace in our time".
This was "the land fit for heroes" that those who fought in the trenches were promised
Which part of this is inaccurate, and why are such an appalling broken promises not part of a discussion on why men fought
Are you really suggesting that Governments should be allowed to get away with making promises in order to get men to join up then producing such returns on those promises?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 09:22 AM

"A world fit for heroes to live in" was never adhered to by the British authorities - it was never intended to - it was a recruiting lie which appeared on recruiting literature -

Of course it wasn't!


"What is our task? To make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in." David Lloyd George (Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor) 1863-1945. Speech at Wolverhampton, Nov. 23, 1918, quoted in The Times, Nov. 25, 1918. (The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations" by Tony Augarde.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 10:03 AM

You are immersed in all that far-left propaganda Jim.
Your actual knowledge of the war period is trivial.

At least now you know that,
The "land fit for heroes" pledge was made at the end of the war.

"War to end wars" was a general hope and aspiration, not a promise made by anyone to anyone, and certainly not by government to recruits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 10:29 AM

all that far-left propaganda

Is that supposed to be amusing?

Jesus continues to weep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Allan C.
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 10:37 AM

One thing is perfectly clear: the two of you are foremost in the field of beating a dead horse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 10:52 AM

"You are immersed in all that far-left propaganda Jim.
Your actual knowledge of the war period is trivial."
An accusation of ignorance is the usual response of being driven into a corner and having no answer

War to end all wars - originated by H G Wells as a disparaging in a book with a similar name
It became popular during the war and was attributed to both Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson
It was used throughout the war and was said to have been treated with disparagement by the British people
Acknowledgement of its use as a slogan was confirmed by the following comment following the war.
"Field-Marshal Earl Wavell said despondently of the Paris Peace Conference: "After the 'war to end war', they seem to have been in Paris at making the 'Peace to end Peace'".

It was never a general aspiration - it started life as an acid comment before the war began and was taken up as a slogan to persuade people to go.
"A land fit for heroes to live in" was a pledge made by the coalition government to the soldiers returning home.
While it was never a slogan during the war, the promise of a better life for those who fought was implied throughout the war and finally articulated in a speech by Lloyd George in 1918.
What treatment those returning received "is not extreme left propaganda" - it is exactly as I have set out.
Your refusal to debate the fact that they were betrayed and the Government of the day flirted with the fascists underlines your extremism.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 11:57 AM

The factt is, large numbers of men did volunteer in the early part of the war. Whether they were misled into doing that or not is a subjective judgement, not a "fact" - basically it comes down to whether you ggree with their choice or not. Equally true, even larger numbers of men did not volunteer but were later in the war compelled to join as conscripts whatever their wishes. But those kind of issues aren't ones where the views of academic historians are partiularly relevant.

The suggestion that there was no choice for Britain but to go to war in 1914 is very dubious indeed. Germany did not declare war on Britain, and there was no indication whatsoever of any wish to do so. What is true is that Germany did attack France, and invade Belgium in the course of doing so. Failing to declare war might have meant evading treaty commitments - but then invading Belgium involved Germany in not complying with treaty commitments. All countries break treaties when it suits them. Britain has definitely done so. Declaring war was a matter of choice.

Once again, it's not a matter of what academic historians decide, but of a judgement about what was the right thing to do - which is coloured by our knowledge of what the consequences were of the decision made. (There is an ambiguity in the the term "right" involved here. A choice that is "right" in one sense may well be catstrophically wrong in the other sense.)

As for the question as to the competence of the military command, while it may be that historians can bring to bear on it a fuller understanding of how the relevant decisions were made, and that could make it more possible to see them as rational, the outcome of episodes such as the Somme attack, in which enormous losses were sustained for absolutely no gain does not leave open the possibility that objectively the tactics involved were anything other than disastrous and mistaken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 12:16 PM

By the way Keith
Just checked my facts to make sure I hadn't remembered wrongly
I may have been mistaken about when exactly timing of Lloyd George's statement, it was made when you said and it was totally reneged on.
I have no doubt you will attempt to score some sick point on this, but it does not alter in any way the fact that the men who fought were totally betrayed by the government who sent them to die.
The fact that you have refused even to address that betrayal sums up completely the dishonest of your case
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 12:31 PM

Nothing two faced or open to interpretation about calling someone a cunt. It's playing with a straight bat, showing the maker's name. Still the best way to score a boundary.

The insults begin when people cannot debate. The insults begin when the awful carnage due to poor decision making and callous disregard for your own soldiers is portrayed as necessary sacrifice.

I think you might call it appropriate reaction.




BAARRRHHHH!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 01:05 PM

Nothing two-faced or open to interpretation about it perhaps, but it's a totally irrelevant insult. What is significant in a discussion isn't whether we like somebody or not, it's whether we agree with them or not. We might think someone is a total bastard, and yet completely right, or that they are are lovely, and completely wrong.

Personal insults are about as in place as much as they would be in court id the prosecuting counsel ended his summing up by saying "and moreover my lord, the accused has bad breath".


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 01:38 PM

Kevin.
The factt is, large numbers of men did volunteer in the early part of the war. Whether they were misled into doing that or not is a subjective judgement, not a "fact" - basically it comes down to whether you ggree with their choice or not

We know from research done on letters, diaries and surveys of veterans that they overwhelmingly believed and continued to believe that the war was both right and necessary.

That it WAS right an necessary is disputable, but the overwhelming consensus among historians is that it was.
That happens to be my view too.
Anyone can disagree, but the historians are not all stupid cunts so I should not be dismissed in that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 01:44 PM

the outcome of episodes such as the Somme attack, in which enormous losses were sustained for absolutely no gain does not leave open the possibility that objectively the tactics involved were anything other than disastrous and mistaken.

That may be your view Kevin, but most military historians would challenge that, for instance the two commissioned to write for the BBC history site.
I have quoted and linked to it several times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 05:35 PM

but most military historians would challenge that

Nonsense, Keith. As has been amply demonstrated. Your repeating your BS won't make it true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 01:30 AM

Maybe Kevin, but when exasperation sets in, abuse can be somewhat cathartic.

Anyway, when debate fails in its aim, what is left? Just a simple non equivocal way of saying there is little point in trying to educate pork?

Damn, there I go again....


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 03:30 AM

I have quoted several military historians about the significance of the Somme.
You have the retention of a goldfish Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 03:40 AM

Musket, you explain exactly how I feel most of the time.

I do not understand why you feel that about me.
The only views I expressed were that Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that, and that the British army was not badly led.

Debatable but not inflammatory.

The rest of my contribution has just been backing those views with quotes from recognised and acclaimed historians.
Why does that make you angry?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:11 AM

I posted this quote on the other thread.

How about your view of the most decisive battle?
I would argue that the single most decisive battle came two years earlier, on the Somme. (Dr. Gary Sheffield, left wing military historian)
http://www.historynet.com/interview-with-military-historian-gary-sheffield.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:21 AM

I have become sick to the stomach of Keith's one-man 'patriotic' nit-picking attempts to apportion blame for and efforts to whitewash the horrors and lies surrounding the mindless carnage that was World War One.
His arguments, when looked ate, are based on two 'witnesses' a tabloid journalist an a military historian who is employed by the Army to teach history (Gary Sheffield) - all the others may have made passing comments on the subject, but are no more than passing references to various points on our understanding of some aspects on the war, but boiled down, his 'star witnesses are a Daily Mail journalist and a British Army employee.
One of his 'witnesses' has actually written a book describing Britain as having "sleepwalked into World War One".
Max Hastings has been described as "weak on the causes of World War One" by a real historian - (a point Keith has refused to respond to to date).
Sheffield's argument is based on the entirely false premise that the popular misconception is that war was fought over "trivial issues".
"I was influenced by what amounted to a "national perception" of the Great War as an utterly futile conflict, fought over trivial issues."
Nobody seriously argues that the war was "trivial" except flag-wavers of the Keith school of non-thought who put it down to a humanitarian gesture to help "poor little Belgium", a genocidal regime whose crimes the world didn't even acknowledge, let alone attempt to prevent, or the assassination of an Arch-Duke.
As far I I understand it, the war was a clash between Empires for economic and political domination - nothing more or less than that, and undisputed by any historian, including Gary Sheffield.
World War was the consequence of the mishandling of the peace brought
attained by the heroes who risked and gave their lives for a hard-won victory - that mishandling included the appeasement and sometimes open support of Hitler and his Nazi monsters who could and should have been stopped by Britain and the Allies - but weren't.
Keith has once again attempted to make this latter fact "off topic"; we are apparently being told that soldiers who fight wars should have no say in why they are fought and what the consequences are.
Keith claims that "all historians" support his view - in fact no historian supports his view as to why men joined up or why the war was fought - none whatever.
In fact, the long document he has described as "unreadable" makes the point that it is both wrong and stupid to attempt to apportion blame for the war as all were a responsible, albeit to different degrees.
It was little more than five years of horror, where mainly working men on both sides were set to slaughter each other in the mud of Europe to maintain Imperial political and economic dominance of the world markets - it turned out to the beginning of the end of those Empires - its early death-throes.
As many people have said, we may have won the war, but the people who fought it lost the peace - that is what needs to be discussed in the coming year - no who was to blame for it all.
Personally, my interest in this, and all wars is peripheral.
As a pacifist (sort of) I regard all wars as evil and avoidable.
My mother's mother's husband died on the Somme; her second husband used to frighten the life out of me as a child with his horrific scars from being burned by mustard gas.
My father's brother, my Uncle Gerry, was a war hero in world war two, decorated for bravery as a commando attached to a tank regiment.
He was among those who entered the concentration camps and witnessed the real horrors of war.
He never spoke about it, and we never knew of his military record, other than to see him 'jump' in a military parachute display in a Liverpool park when I was a youth.
He was elevated enormously in my estimation when I found that he was later court martialed for refusing to be sent to participate in the (little-talked-about) Greek Civil war- he said he was horrified by the photographs of soldiers carrying the heads of Greek partisans in order to collect a bounty on them.
As I said, I'm sick of garbage from people like Keith who turn these wars into fights between 'goodies and baddies'
I agree with the feller who said that patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels, usually cowardly and dishonest ones with an axe to grind.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:50 AM

The real me is dismayed that these debates fall to this level, and I am guilty of exacerbating it, but being polite whilst doling it out doesn't make it any less abusive. To be honest, I still see my posts as a reaction, not a starting point.

Your attachment to a selected number of sources and proclaiming that any debate has to take them as read is not encouraging debate. I have read most of your sources, and before this and the other thread started. I too am fascinated by military history.

But I cannot accept selective sources as full stop "official so there" accounts. You do this in every thread where someone else notes a figure, statistic or source, you go out of your way to either find something to challenge it (good idea and not knocking it in principle) or misinterpret it, (again, perspective adds to debate.). But then you dig your heels in, which is where the debate turns to ridicule. I fail to see any alternative.

How you would deal with some real life conflicts in sources I don't know. As an aside, I have two reports on my desk, both December publications and both acknowledged by Dept of Health as the "official" figures. One set (Dr Foster) puts the hospital I am sat in as one of the best performers in the country with regard to preventable mortality. The other, (SHMI) reckons it is one of the worst. Using the same raw data, the same weighting etc. I suppose people waving "truth" at me washes off after a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 05:32 AM

Very good article here on historical revisionism. Not that I would have taken any notice of anything by Michael Gove. Particularly printed in the Daily Mail. Some people would though, apparently...

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 05:57 AM

Historical academic study is not some kind of exact science. The judgements made by academic historians shouldn't be treated as if they were precise measurements. They are opinions, based on available information and are always provisional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 06:17 AM

"Historical academic study is not some kind of exact science. "
Historical academic study, when done openly and without agenda, is an invaluable guide to the detail of the past - general truths seldom get turned on their head by such study - if ever.
Historical study is given a bad name when it is used by zealots like Keith to push an agenda - in his case - Britain never does and has never done anything wrong.
I posted a correction which appears to have gone astray, to my previous posting which should read
"World War TWOwas the consequence of the mishandling of the peace brought
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 07:10 AM

Kevin, it may not be an exact Science, but if all the research leads to the same conclusion you can not dismiss it.

Musket, I am not being selective in who I quote. That is all there is. THAT IS WHY CAN'T NONE OF YOU CAN SELECT AN ALTERNATIVE?

Jim, I am sure the renowned and acclaimed historian Dr. Gary Sheffield is pissing himself that you think him a fraud.
Name a living historian you do approve of!

Dave, your link does not refer to the work of one single living historians. What is so good about it? Is it not just some random person's uninformed opinions?

The fact remains, I have produced numerous quotes from many historians contradicting the old, discredited version, and no-one has managed to find a single living historian still supporting it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 07:20 AM

"Kevin, it may not be an exact Science, but if all the research leads to the same conclusion you can not dismiss it."
As often as you repeat this lie, it in no way backs your claims, this This includes Gary Sheffield, which has been pointed out to you and you have now decided to ignore.
Wonder what happened to Max Miller, or whatever the name of that journalist is you kept describing as a historian.
You've had your list of living historians - you said they were too long and complicated to read and understand - must have been a pretty long list for YOU not to be able to read and understand it (chortle)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 07:24 AM

"Gary Sheffield has established himself as one of the foremost authorities on the British Army of the First World War."
Profesor Saul David, University of Buckingham.
http://www.garysheffield-historian.com/

Jim who?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 07:27 AM

Professor Gary Sheffield is one of Britain's foremost military historians. He specialises in Britain at war, 1914-45, and is the author of a number of acclaimed histories, including the best-selling Forgotten Victory: The First World War – Myths and Realities (2001) and The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (2011), which was chosen as a military book of the year by The Times and was shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature. In 2003, he shared the Templer Medal for Military Literature for his contribution to The British General Staff: Innovation and Reform (2002). His other works include Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters (edited with John Bourne, 2005); Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in The British Army in the Era of the First World War (2000). He is working on a study of the British and Dominion soldier in the Second World War, and, with Dr John Bourne, on a scholarly edition of the First World War papers of General Sir Henry Rawlinson.

A Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts, he was educated at the University of Leeds (BA, MA) and gained his PhD from King's College, London. He currently holds the Chair of War Studies at the University of Birmingham, and was formerly Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Staff College, where his students included many of today's most senior generals, admirals and air marshals. Professor Sheffield often appears on television and radio, and writes regularly for the press. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute, and is Regimental Historian of The Rifles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:00 AM

Jim, re your last post, Max Hastings is still an acclaimed military historian.
I showed you that the Guardian refers to him as that so what is your opinion worth.

In amongst all that tosh you posted and I alone read, there was one obscure historian who questioned that Britain should have gone to war.

No other historian now says that, and that is why none of you have found one.

No historian would challenge that the British people overwhelmingly believed the war just and necessary, and that is why none of you have found one.

No military historian would challenge that the British Army was generally well led, and that is why none of you have found one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: bobad
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:05 AM

"Looming First World War anniversary sparks ideological battle over conflict's merits and blame"

Jill Lawless, Associated Press


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:11 AM

"Professor Gary Sheffield is one of Britain's foremost military historians"
Gary Sheffield, whatever his qualifications, in no way backs your overall claims on the war
He has written that the present view of the history of the war needs to be changed indicating that he believes the commonly held view among historians is wrong
He sets up his own straw dog by claiming that the view of war is simplistic - no historian anywhere is making any such statement - in fact they have all stressed that it is far from simple and has long moved on from the "Archduke Ferdinand" and "gallant little Belgium" stage.
He concedes in the piece you have pasted that it was a struggle between conflicting Empires.
I suggest you go and read what you have pasted rather than us having to keep reminding you exactly what he did say - I certainly intend to continue doing so.
Against the advice of ALL MODERN HISTORIANS Sheffield attempts to apportion direct blame for the war.
Most modern historians warn against doing so, and point out that the blame lies with all participants, though more with some than with others.
Sheffield is one historian among many and his own statement underlines that fact.
Your other star witness - the scabloid journalist, Max Miller, or whatever his name is, seems to have disappeared from the scene - out of his depth among all those real historians I suppose.
You continue to display your contempt for the veterans of World War One by refusing to discuss what happened to them when they returned from having made their sacrifice - and by attempting to make such discussion 'out of bounds' by calling it 'thread drift' - as you always do when you're in trouble.
Never mind, I will continue to enjoy drawing attention to to your contempt whenever I find myself with a free moment.
I'll allow you to get back to your putting forward a version of the events of World War One which actually became out of date in 1916, when the powers-that-be abandoned their recruiting campaign as a total failure, and introduced compulsory conscription.
Jim Carroll
PS I wonder if Gary Sheffield ever interviewed a World War One veteran, and whether he would very have described one as "a liar" as you have?
I doubt it somehow - he looks to be a nice man, in spite of his establishment views.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:31 AM

Gary Sheffield, whatever his qualifications, in no way backs your overall claims on the war
Yes he does, absolutely and completely.
I mostly formed my views from reading his work.
You are making shit up.

He has written that the present view of the history of the war needs to be changed indicating that he believes the commonly held view among historians is wrong

No he has not.
You are making shit up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:36 AM

Historical studies are definitely a science, akin to social and political sciences. They collect facts and probabilities (hence the opposition to "exact sciences") based on observations, other sciences, and transparent reasoning - no "opinion" in the sense of subjective choice. Justifications of wars (and other activities) are historical facts themselves and thus objects of research. Historians who mention their own approval are no longer on the grounds of their science, and thus have no more authority than anybody else.

In particular, "military history" is often concerned with technology and tactics, taking the reasons and goals of the conflict for granted; such historians often appear to approve of these. Like war gamers, some seem to swap sides in the midst of their books - "I'm Rommel now: boom-boom-boom!"—

Pacifism is a dangerous word, somewhere in the realm of fundamentalism - I would not like to use it at all. If you want an -ism, I am in favour of internationalism. Study the current Iran case for the idea, though not yet implemented perfectly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:46 AM

"I mostly formed my views from reading his work.
You are making shit up."
No I am not - go read what he said
You do not form comprehensive knowledge of anything from carefully sought out and selective cut-'n-pastes - you have made it perfectly clear that while you might own one book, you don't read books and rely entirely on what you can dredge from the internet.
I cannot recall your ever having produced any argument from what you have read - everything you have ever given has been taken directly from he internet - everything, including your entire argument here!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:59 AM

Gary Sheffield, whatever his qualifications, in no way backs your overall claims on the war
FALSE CLAIM!
Produce one quote contradicting me and I quit.

He has written that the present view of the history of the war needs to be changed indicating that he believes the commonly held view among historians is wrong
FALSE CLAIM!
He has never said any such thing.
Produce one quote and I quit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 09:03 AM

Jim, will you offer to quit if I produce quotes supporting my three claims, or quotes where he says "revisionist" historians like himself are right?
It would be a good reply to my offer.
You know you are right so what is the problem?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Seaham Cemetry
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM

I cant wait for next Xmas day, when Keith A of Hertford and Jim Carroll get out of their trenches for a game of football. The bloodshed over arguing the offside rule will be fun to watch....

Have they ever thought that published historical publications have two elements, an account and a view based on that account? Someone mentioned that in this thread somewhere I think.

The timing of recent books has coincided with a concerted effort by the government to clean up the reputation of the military and political leadership of the time, so should be read with a healthy pinch of salt or at least a degree of caution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 10:56 AM

concerted effort by the government to clean up the reputation of the military and political leadership of the time,

I am not aware of this.
Can you point out some examples please?

The current understanding of the history of this period has been building for about 30 years.
The new books contain nothing new on that score.
Are you suggesting that there is a conspiracy among historians to push a false version of history?
Why would they?
Who would it benefit?

It may be that the historians have all got it wrong, in which case I am wrong too.
Otherwise, I am right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 10:59 AM

Of course not -
I have produced his quotes where he directly contradicts you on your "all historians" claim and your I have pointed out that he has ascribed the war to Imperialist motives, though he goes against the advice of other historians in placing the blame solely on Germany.
He has acknowledged, as has the BBC article, that the views he hold are not those commonly held by other historians, yet you insist on telling us that all other historians agree with your claims.
Sheffield, nor any other historian backs your ridiculous claim that - what was it - 80% + of the soldiers who returned came back with the same 'King and Country' commitment that they went away with
You even accused me of inventing the 14 reasons I gave for them having enlisted.
You even accused me of inventing the "all over by Christmas" slogan that was used to get the lads to enlist - one of the best known and long lasting slogans to come out of WW1 - so much for your "life-long study of the War".
You have persistently ignored all these facts when they have been pointed out to you and have sneered at those of us who disagree with us "swine" who you "cast your pearls of wisdom before"
What you appear to be proposing now is that I agree with your single historian if you take the little he is reported to have written (and you have taken out of context - you have produced no evidence whatever that you have read any of Sheffield's books, or anybody else's, on the subject.
In the hypothetical case that Sheffield did back your argument, he is one historian who is fully aware of that fact - he nowhere represents the general view of historians - you can ascertain this by reading what he says and all the other things you have been given and dismissed out of hand - including that "extremely difficult and long one that you have claimed to be the only one on the planet to have read..
This is the case with every single argument I have ever had with you - quick raids on the internet to prove your twisted ideas - Palestine (straight fro Israeli Government Quotes), The Irish Famine (lifted from a tiny handful of historians with agendas (at least of who backfires drastically and blew your case out of the water.
Your last venture was to enthusiastically support the racist garbage lifted from an openly declared racist/fascist website and demand that we disprove all of it - why the **** should anybody want to wade in such unqualified slime?
I've become sick to the back teeth of your ranting racict/nationalist/pro-establishment right-wing rantings and your insulting and dominating behaviour that has sent thread after thread crashing to obscurity.
We may not be experts, but most of us show that we are interested enough to have taken the trouble to have read something on the subjects we debate - you show no sign of having done so - on anything.
I am at a total loss to remember one single argument where you have not come with a pre-conceived opinion and have then scrambled around the net to back it up - not one.
You are a mess - you are spoiling these discussions for others with your ignorance, you arrogance and your obsessive behaviour, and you obviously intend to continue to do so.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 11:13 AM

He has acknowledged, as has the BBC article, that the views he hold are not those commonly held by other historians,
Now you are just blatantly lying.
Both of those statements are lies.
Why are you people so driven to win that you do that?
Liar!

In the hypothetical case that Sheffield did back your argument

Nothing hypothetical.
I can provide quotes for my 3 points again if you like.
Can you provide one quote that contradicts?
NO!
Not even when I offered to quit.
You lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 11:37 AM

You completely miss the point Jim was making about Gary Sheffield. He wasn't saying that his views about the war were not similar to those you have been expressing, but rather that Sheffield clearly would disagree with your repeated assertion that those views are generally accepted - in fact he specifically says that they are not, and thinks that they should be.

At this time the view that the war was well waged and that the slaughter was justified by the outcome does not appear to be the generally accepted one. The fact that a number of academic historians might hold it is interesting in its way, but hardly conclusive. Though whether a particular historical view is in fashion or out of fashion is not in itself that significant.

It is common in public inquiries into public scandals for the final report to end with formal conclusions which sum up against the evidence. That is a temptation into which academics also fall at times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 11:54 AM

but rather that Sheffield clearly would disagree with your repeated assertion that those views are generally accepted

I fear you have missed the point.
I agree with Sheffield that his views are not commonly held by the public.
Sheffield has never said that his views are not widely held by historians.
They absolutely are.

Though whether a particular historical view is in fashion or out of fashion is not in itself that significant.

It is not about "fashion!"
Historical knowledge advances as new information becomes available.
Existing knowledge is refined and extended.
If there is an overwhelming consensus among the professionals, who are the likes of you and me to challenge it?
What do we know compared to people who have devoted years of their life to this work?

It may be that the historians have all got it wrong, in which case I am wrong too.

Otherwise, I am right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 11:59 AM

He has acknowledged, as has the BBC article, that the views he hold are not those commonly held by other historians,

Both of those statements are lies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for making my point Mac"
Sure they are - Keith
Aren't they always!!!
"Otherwise, I am right."
Aren't you always?
"You lose."]
'Course I do!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 01:38 PM

'Increased knowledge" is only one factor in affecting the opinions held by academic historians, but by no means the only one.   It can equally be true that the views held by historians impact on how the historical evidence is interpreted by them. "Overwhelming consensus'' can be another way of saying 'fashion".

What appears to be the situation is that there are a number of historians whose views are at odds with general opinion, and who believe that this opinion ought to be revised. That is to say they are "revisionist"

Of the three opinions which Keith sees as crucial, the first, that there was "no choice" for England but to go to war is just wrong, and I would question whether any historian would actually say that. What can be argied is that it was the right choice, and that is a matter of opinion on which a historians' view has no particular value.

As for the question whether ordinary soldiers believed they were right to fight, I have never heard any suggestion to the contrary.

So far as the matter of the quality of military leadership goes, it comes down to whether mistakes were culpable and arising from bad judgement, or arose from other reasons. I cannot see why that is particularly significant either way. Alternatively it can be asserted that the slaughter, while regrettable had consequences which rendered it justifiable. That is a subjective view, not a historical judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 01:39 PM

Mac did not make your point.
He thought you were claiming that Sheffield said his views are not generally accepted BY THE PUBLIC.

That is true, and they are not.

You actually claimed that Sheffield "has acknowledged, as has the BBC article, that the views he hold are not those commonly held by OTHER HISTORIANS"

That is a blatant lie from a blatant liar.

You also claimed that Sheffield said things that contradict my views.

Another blatant lie.

Ideologues like you have to win at all costs, and lying is a normal tactic.

I would rather lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 01:54 PM

Kevin, most historians do indeed say that Britain had no choice, and I have supplied quotes. Do I need to repeat them?

As for leadership, military historians are overwhelmingly, I think unanimously, of the belief that the leadership was not deficient.
Again I have supplied quotes and can repeat them.

You are entitled to the opinion that the views of historians are not significant.

I accept that they might all be wrong, and if they are then so am I.
Otherwise I am right.

I happy to leave it there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 02:07 PM

Kevin, most historians do indeed say that Britain had no choice...

Same old BS, eh Keith? Once again, repeating nonsense will not make it so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 02:19 PM

If historians, or anyone else says, "Britain had no choice" they are quite simply saying something nonsensical, or using language sloppily.

In any decision there is by definition a choice, or it wouldn't be a decision. "We have no choice but to..." Is merely a way of strongly advocating a particular choice and rejecting other choices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 02:49 PM

"I happy to leave it there."
I'm sure you are
Wot Greg just wrote.
Don't suppose you'd care to comment on the treatment the soldiers received when they got home before you leave, would you? - No? I thought not.
It's all lies, lies I tell you!!!!!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Toodle-pip-pip!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:10 PM

Greg has been saying that for ten weeks now.
That has been his (arse)sole contribution, but not Greg or any of you could find ONE DISSENTING HISTORIAN.
Fact.
It is as if there are none.

All the living historians discussed agree with my views.
Not one contradicts.
I am happy to leave it there.
There is no point debating with people who just make up shit and lie to support their worthless, discredited views anyway.

Kevin, I will give you an example of what you refer to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:17 PM

"Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914 for similar reasons to those for which the country fought Hitler's Germany in the second world war: to prevent an authoritarian, militarist, expansionist enemy achieving hegemony in Europe and thus imperilling British security."

"Rather, the first world war was an existential struggle, just as much a war of national survival for the British as the second world war. If Britain and its allies had lost, it would have meant the end of liberal democracy on mainland Europe. As it was, civilians were kept docile in German-occupied France and Belgium by the routine use of terror. Forced labourers were deported to Germany under terrible conditions. Unlike Hitler's regime, the Kaiser's was not consciously genocidal, but it was aggressive and brutal enough. In 1918 the British army was fighting a war of liberation.

If Germany had won the first world war Britain, although probably safe from invasion thanks to the Royal Navy, would have been reduced to a state of siege, shut out of Europe. As British planners recognised during the first world war, had London been forced to come to terms with a victorious Germany, any peace could only have been temporary. Sooner or later Germany would have renewed the war and Britain and its empire would have been at a terrible disadvantage.

There is plenty of evidence that most ordinary British people understood what was at stake and, just as in 1939-45, more or less willingly committed to the struggle. The idea of mass war enthusiasm in August 1914 has been shown to be something of a myth. Instead, as the gravity of the situation became clear, there was a more nuanced response. One of the reasons why the support of the working classes for the war was so strong, even among those that lived in poverty, was the knowledge that they were better off than their parents and grandparents had been, and so had something to lose. "

"Today, horrified by the casualties of 1914-18, (which were consistent with losses of other belligerents), we tend to see the conflict in terms of what the war poet Wilfred Owen called the "pity of war". This is right and proper, but we should not lose sight of why the war was fought and the significance of the fact that it was Britain and its allies, and not Germany, that emerged victorious. Like all wars, it was tragic, but it was certainly not futile."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/17/1914-18-not-futile-war


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:36 PM

Description of Todman's book "The Great War myth."

The First World War, with its mud and the slaughter of the trenches, is often taken as the ultimate example of the futility of war. Generals, safe in their headquarters behind the lines, sent millions of men to their deaths to gain a few hundred yards of ground. Writers, notably Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, provided unforgettable images of the idiocy and tragedy of the war. Yet this vision of the war is at best a partial one, the war only achieving its status as the worst of wars in the last thirty years. At the time, the war aroused emotions of pride and patriotism. Not everyone involved remembered the war only for its miseries. The generals were often highly professional and indeed won the war in 1918. In this original and challenging book, Dan Todman shows views of the war have changed over the last ninety years and how a distorted image of it emerged and became dominant


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:38 PM

Keith - I don't tell lies - If I was a liar, with duffers like you it isn't necessary.
You, on the other hand, are now permanently dishonest, claiming you are quoting someone who hasn't and wouldn't dare make the statements you have (implanted Pakistanis) diong skidding u-turns and claiming that's what you were saying all along (Irish famine thread), even faking your identity in order to post support you for yourself you weren't getting elsewhere - (you were warned by 'them upstairs' for that one).... and so ad infinitum.
You are constantly sneering at opposition "casting pearls before swine" - muppets - ignoramouses who refuse to benefit from your vast store of knowledge,... I could go on
If I am wrong I withdraw my comments and apologise - you have described that as "grovelling" and have constantly refused to do so yourself - you have seldom, if ever apologise, you appear to consider it beneath you.
Even here, here you've openly reduced your widespread claims to three items and reduced your claim of "all historians" to "many" - and claim that you have never claimed anything else
You are by far the most unpleasant and dishonest extremist I have ever come across - I was hoping the New Year might bring a new leaf - no chance!
You've turned this forum into a personal ego trip and naused it up for the rest of us.
Once again, for the sake of us all - stop it - this is a debating forum, not a game of one-upmanship
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:51 PM

Jim, you have just lied to us all.

You actually claimed that Sheffield "has acknowledged, as has the BBC article, that the views he hold are not those commonly held by OTHER HISTORIANS"

That is a blatant lie from a blatant liar.

You also claimed that Sheffield said things that contradict my views.

Another blatant lie.

Those are undeniable lies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 04:57 PM

Kevin, Max Hastings.
"David Cameron displays unhesitating pride in Britain's World War II stand against Hitler. But his own and his colleagues' knowledge of 1914-18 derives chiefly from watching Blackadder when they were in short trousers.

They learned to think of the struggle simply as a pointless tragedy in which Britain's idiot generals committed mass murder.

This 21st-century view has also been strongly influenced by the satirical musical Oh, What A Lovely War!, and by the 'trench poets' Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, whose impassioned pens depicted in the most vivid and moving terms the nightmare to which their generation was subjected in France.

But no poet ever identified a route by which the British, French and Belgian people could have escaped the conflict, save by accepting the Kaiser's domination of Europe. Germany's 1914-18 war aims fell not far short of those of 1939-45, except that there was no genocidal programme against the Jews."

"Though a few sensationalist modern historians seek to suggest that the Russians — or even, crazily, the British — were chiefly responsible for Europe's catastrophe, the evidence shows that blame rests overwhelmingly with Austria and Germany.

It was Helmuth von Moltke, the Kaiser's army chief of staff, who said in 1912 'a war is unavoidable; the sooner the better' — and meant it. It was German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg who, in September 1914, when Berlin believed itself on the brink of victory, drew up a shopping list of draconian demands which would have imposed absolute German hegemony upon the continent.

The fact that Britain sacrificed three-quarters of a million lives to prevent the triumph of Germany's militarists should be a matter of profound pride to those men's modern descendants, not grounds for ministers to take refuge in empty platitudes.

Most veterans rejected the 'poets' view'."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 05:03 PM

I am content to leave it there.
If the historians are wrong so am I.

There is no debate with liars like Jim willing and ready to make up any shit they like.
We have already had Musket's invisible box and "she" who can not be named.

I just put 3 simple views and showed that the historians support them.
In reply just obscene vilification and rage and lies.
I am done with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 06:34 PM

The import of those passages you quoted there Keith were not that there was "no choice", but that the writer believed that the right choice was made. And the arguments for that are based on imagining what the outcome of different choices might have been.

Essentially it boils down to "This is what happened. These are the decisions which were made. These are the things that happened as a result of those decisions. The consequences were disastrous, and the subsequent consequences have also been disastrous. But I believe that if different decisions had been made the outcome would have been even worse."

The last sentence is not actually history, but speculation by a historian. Making up alternative paths in history is an interesting thing to do, but history academics have no special or unique aptitude for doing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 06:42 PM

Kevin, ya can't educate pork.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 06:59 PM

Keith is a decent enough bloke whom I've met. Sometimes if he's set his head on a notion it's hard to dislodge it, but most of us are like that sometimes. Just because we disagree with someone, even profoundly, and even if we think there are implications in what they say we might detest, that's no reason to get all hot and bothered.

Being pigheaded doesn't mean we are pigs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 07:51 PM

Keith is a decent enough bloke whom I've met.

That shouldn't be read to mean that the fact I've met someone in itself means they are OK. I've met some people I would not say that of. But when we get in an argument with a faceless stranger on line it's too easy to build up some picture of a kind of malevolent worm who should be expunged. In a way that's one reason the term Troll has emerged. Meeting people gets in the way of that process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:12 PM

Sometimes if he's set his head on a notion it's hard to dislodge it

Its way beyond that, Kevin - he's in the "Don't Try To Change My Mind With Facts" category. And a nasty piece of work into the bargain- or so he comes across here to all & sundry.

Being pigheaded doesn't mean we are pigs.

OK then, how about just idiots?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 08:46 PM

How we come across here isn't necessarily the whole story. In fact I suspect it very rarely is.

And I also think that it's pretty rare for anyone to actually change their minds on something they've really come to believe in just because they've been presented with "the facts". There are always other facts they can turn to.

And in fact more often than not arguments, especially heated arguments, strengthen people's commitments to the ideas they started with, even ideas that were initially tentative. That's the difference between an argument and a discussion that tries to explore different ways of seeing things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 02:32 AM

Sometimes if he's set his head on a notion it's hard to dislodge it
Look at that statement carefully Kevin.
I used to have the same view of WW1 as you still have.
I read Graves and Sassoon and I still have a volume of Owen, but I also have a recent books. (I would be happy to lend)

I have continued my interest and followed developments in understanding.
Ask yourself why you still think as you do and where you got those views.

Historians are not fashion butterflies flitting from version to version as fashion changes.

You all think you understand history better than historians.
You even believe your understanding of early 20C developments in military strategy is superior to military historians and specialists.

I am not the one with a fixed notion stuck in the head.
My mind has been open these last 30 years and I have moved on.
YOU are all stuck in the past.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 02:51 AM

WW1. Misrepresentation Of A Conflict.
Dr Dan Todman. BBC site.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/perceptions_01.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:02 AM

"Jim, you have just lied to us all."
No Keith - you put up what Sheffield said, I pointed out what he said, both about the need to change current historical assessment of WW1 and of his describing the War and being an Imperialist one - he chose to blame German Imperialism for the war, putting out on a limb from all the historians, who have that suggested that this is both incorrect and unproductive.
You won't discuss his false premise, that the war has been regarded as "trivial" when it hasn't, Yyou won't discuss the treatment of the soldiers who were betrayed by the British Government on their return, you won't discuss your lying here and anywhere else.
You are now trying to implicate me accuse me of what you now routinely do on this forum - lie to score points.
The fact that you have not responded in any way to my list of your having lied seem, in my view, that you are unable to and are forced to accept them.
If you wish to continue talking about lying I'll be happy to complete that list and fill in the details with cut-'n-pastes from other threads - whatdya think - are you up for it?
Don't you dare try to drag me or anybody down to your sewer level behaviour
Yours in gratitude for vainly attempting to cast your "pearls of wisdom" before us "swine"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:04 AM

A recent piece about the 1914 truce.
Use the link, not just the extracts.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/7b6f0490-6347-11e3-a87d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2oJ9WwKyd

"It was only at the end of the decade(1920s) that doubts crept in; the war had left a troubled world and the 1930s brought the threat of another great conflict. Increasingly, the Great War, as it was known, came to be seen as something that should never have happened and, still worse, that had settled nothing and destroyed much. Revisionist views of the war meshed with growing concerns in the democracies that another war was on its way. In 1934-35, nearly half the adult population of Britain voted for the peace ballot to show their support for the League of Nations and disarmament. Much of the great anti-war literature, including Robert Graves' Goodbye to All That, Wilfred Owen's poems and the play Journey's End, came out around this time. Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front was published to huge acclaim in 1929. Yet far more novels and memoirs at the time were either ambivalent about the rightness or otherwise of the war or, indeed, saw it as something that had had to be fought. And not everyone who had been in the war wanted to forget it. Millions joined veterans' associations, in part to recapture the camaraderie they had once felt."

"Now is surely the right time to challenge the accepted views. The wartime generals were not all cowards and incompetents as Alan Clark argued in his infamous The Donkeys (1961). A new generation of British historians, among others, has done much to explode such lazy generalisation and show that commanders developed both strategies and tactics that, in the end, worked. And was the war just a dreadful mistake or was it about something? At the time people on all sides thought they had a just cause. It is condescending and wrong to think they were hoodwinked. British soldiers felt they were fighting for their country and its values; French, German or Russian soldiers felt much the same."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:10 AM

Jim, you stated that Sheffield "has acknowledged, as has the BBC article, that the views he hold are not those commonly held by OTHER HISTORIANS"

That is a blatant lie from a blatant liar.

You also claimed that Sheffield said things that contradict my views.

That was also a lie.

If they are not lies, give us a quote.
You can not because it is not true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:55 AM

If Hastings says The Prime Minister appears to be accurate re his take on WW2, but got his WW1 from Blackadder, it says more about Hastings and his cavalier approach than it says anything about Mr Cameron.

Are you SURE he is the oracle Keith?

When you speak of sacrifice, is that sacrifice to freedom or to callous disregard to human life by those charged with the soldiers' welfare?

Boom etc


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 06:49 AM

No oracle of mine.
I thought he was supporting the establishment.
That does not include the Tory pm then.

Do you know any historians who seriously challenge anything by Hastings?
No.
All the historians discussed on these threads have come to the same conclusions, but what do they know about History!

You lot know more than all of them put together.
Right muppet?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:27 AM

If Hastings says the prime minister gets all his WW1 knowledge from comedies but deep research based opinions from WW2, then yes, I am challenging him. I challenge how he can come to that conclusion. If his rationale is similar for all his views then they are in question.

Half a dozen lemmings can never be wrong eh?

Arsehole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:30 AM

It is not just Hastings and not just Cameron.
WW2 has not been mythologised in the same way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:46 AM

Historians complain Government's WW1 commemoration 'focuses on British defeats'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/britain-at-war/10037507/Historians-complain-Governments-WW1-commemoration-focuses-on-British-defeats.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 08:17 AM

There is a distinction between believing something and having a set opinion. We talk about concrete setting, and that is the metaphor involved.

I note that you ignore the distinction I made between the things about which academic historians can reasonably expected to have some special expertise, such as about the facts of what happened, and the area where they do not, speculation about what might have happened but didn't.

The assertion that there was "no choice" for Britain but to wage war falls squarely into the latter category. (Unless it is a statement about the psychology of the decision makers, so that being the people they were there was no possibility that they could have acted otherwise, seeing them as some kind of automatons...)

If Alan Clark actually said that "The wartime generals were all cowards and incompetents " I would think it likely that that would have been overegging the pudding. I suspect that an examination of his book would indicate that to be an oversimplification of what he actually wrote. But the crucial issue in any case is not whether they were cowards and incompetents but rather that they made significant mistakes that caused the deaths of enormous numbers of their soldiers.

There seems to be a suggestion that the view that the war should be seen as a disaster rather than a success that vindicated the decision to wage it, and the manner in which it was waged means that the heroism and dedication of the soldiers is disregarded. That is untrue and extremely offensive. At any rate that seems the view of Michael Gove. I am not assuming that Keith is guilty of such a gross distortion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 08:35 AM

I am not assuming that Keith is guilty of such a gross distortion.

Supposing one grants that, there are obviously any number of OTHER gross distortions he is guilty of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 09:39 AM

In the essays and extracts we have available, we do not see how research has led to and supports a conclusion.
Other historians would not accept anything from a peer (rival) that could not be substantiated.

There really is a remarkable consensus that the views of Clark and Liddel Hart were wrong but are still pervasive.

I got into this by saying I did not like songs that portrayed the British soldier of WW1 as someone who did not know or understand what he was doing or why, and was just a dupe of the establishment.

I knew from my reading that historians had shown that not to be the case.
I also knew that historians did not regard the war as in any way futile, and that the army was generally well led.

For saying that, you have seen the kind of abuse I receive.
That is all they can do because none of them have any actual knowledge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 09:47 AM

Is it not just some random person's uninformed opinions?


Yes it is. Michaels Gove's. Unfortunately his opinions were published in the Daily Mail and lots of people will believe him. The article I linked provided a very valid argument against what he published and linked to 2 x further such articles.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:00 AM

Did you try any of my links to the works of historians Dave?
I found them hard to reconcile with the piece in your link.
(Hastings is the only historian I am aware of who has in any way approved of Gove's outburst)


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:31 AM

Michael Gove is an historian? Well I never...

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM

I knew from my reading that historians had shown that not to be the case. I also knew that historians did not regard the war as in any way futile, and that the army was generally well led.

Sigh.

A few historians, Keith, certainly not all historians nor the majority of historians.

Once again, repeating nonsense, especially after its proven to be nonsense, still doesn't make it true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,keith
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM

says who?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,keith
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:37 AM

cross post.
Greg has made the same claim so many times I can't be bothered to rubbish it again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:44 AM

None of us have reliable information about the conclusions of "all academic historians" who have carried out work in the Great War have reached (insofar as "reaching conclusions" in this sense is what historians in general do, which is questionable.)

I think Keith misunderstands what historical study consists of, and how much weight can be placed on the judgements historians may make at any specific time. Speculation is speculation, and is by definition subjective, whoever makes it.

Basically the relevant distinction is the same as that once made of good newspapers - "opinion is free, but facts are sacred". The facts assembled by historians are where we should be willing to defer (provisionally). The opinions are essentially just that, opinions.

There were several million British soldiers, and the suggestion that all of them were or were not dupes, or did or did not understand what was going on is a meaningless generalisation, whoever might make it, songwriter or historian. The most that can be said of such matters is that it can be proved that some of them held a particular opinion, on the basis of what they might have written or said. The only generalisation that can be made is that they had a very hard time of it and that they deserve our respect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 10:48 AM

Presumably because you fail to rubbish it.

You say nobody can find a dissenting historian.

I mention Alan Clark.

You refine it to "living" historian.

Fuck off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 11:30 AM

Yes, the current view, not that of the long dead.
Likewise in the question of the earth, flat or round.
Anyway, you said "she" was still alive.

Kevin.
There were several million British soldiers, and the suggestion that all of them were ...

Let's keep it on a grown up level.
All of them weren't anything.

Do you think the majority were dupes?
I have quoted many historians who say they have seen clear evidence from original sources that they were not, and no-one has produced a contradictory quote.
I think that makes it very plausible and only a fool would dismiss it.
Musket, Jim and Greg do dismiss it, with much abuse thrown in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 11:35 AM

Now Sheffield has been moved from his position as a supporter of Keith's line, any takers on when we'll grt round to learning what Keith believes based on what he has read rather than his hifding behind carefully selected Cut-'n-pastes.
How exactly do you know what "all historians believe" if you have not read them, and are unable to read, let alone discuss the list you were given of what aspects of the war modern historians are studying.
Surely you are not going to claim that the half dozen you have presented constitute "all historians" - or maybe Britain only has half a dozen?
We really do need to know so this crisis in historical study.
And please do not claim that nobody has presented an alternative view - historians haven't changed their minds over the last few decades otherwise we would have heard about it - and the "incorrect version would no longer be taught in schools - as it is.
Now - you evidence about those "all historians" - I don't think!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 11:50 AM

Jim, has Sheffield ever said or written anything that contradicts my views.
No. You said he had, but you just made that up.
That is why there was no quote.

Here are the historians who I have quoted in support of my case.
Richard Holmes, Peter Hart, David Stephenson, Fritz Fischer, Dan Todman, Gary Sheffield, Max Hastings, Malcolm Brown, Stuart Halifax, Catriona Pennel, Margaret MacMillan, Tristram Hunter.
I will add "she" when we learn her name.
She must support me or musket would have given it.

Of course there are more.
Every university has a History dept. but not all write about WW1.

In the ten weeks of this debate, none of you have found one that contradicts me.
I will stop claiming "all" when you find one.
Fair enough?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 11:57 AM

I think Keith misunderstands what historical study consists of

Got it in one, Kevin. But that's not his only problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:04 PM

"Sheffield, though the most prominent contemporary defender of Haig, is by no means alone. Indeed, the consensus among serious modern historians of the Great War is that Haig is a much maligned man."

"Sheffield fairly points out that most criticism of Haig has come from war poets and satirists rather than historians or soldiers, or from the malicious memoirs of his enemies – above all those of his Prime Minister, Lloyd George, who detested him "
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/8684706/The-Chief-Douglas-Haig-and-the-British-Army-by-Gary-Sheffield-review.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:12 PM

"Professor Gary Sheffield of the University of Wolverhampton, who was praised by Mr Gove for his recent study of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force whose Western Front offensives cost nearly one million British lives, said it was not a question of ideology.

"Mr Gove's politics and mine are pretty different but the view he has put forward is right. What he was wrong about however is that there is a left-right split – there isn't," he said.

"The publicity that has been kicking off around the centenary has reflected the Black Adder point of view although he (Mr Gove) is wrong to single it out – it is satire not documentary."

Professor Sheffield said mainstream historians had been revising their opinions of the conflict over the past three decades overturning the "bad war" theory which had taken hold in the 1930s.

"The war was fought for defensive reasons and Europe would have been a very dark place if Germany had not been defeated. Imperial Germany wasn't as bad as Nazi Germany but it was bad enough," he said. "We don't want this year to be a jingoistic carnival of celebration but rather a sober understanding that what Britain was fighting for was important. It was a war against aggression," he added."
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cambridge-history-professor-hits-back-at-michael-goves-ignorant-attack-9037502.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:29 PM

GREG, PLEASE READ THIS BIT IF NOTHING ELSE!!!!!!!

"Professor Sheffield said mainstream historians had been revising their opinions of the conflict over the past three decades overturning the "bad war" theory which had taken hold in the 1930s."

HE DOES NOT SAY "SOME" MAINSTREAM HISTORIANS.

HE DOES SAY "THE "BAD WAR" THEORY IS "OVERTURNED."

That is what I have been saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:35 PM

Kevin, if a History professor can say this, why does it make me wrong to go along with it.
Is he not well informed enough?
What makes you so sure he does not understand properly?

"The war was fought for defensive reasons and Europe would have been a very dark place if Germany had not been defeated. Imperial Germany wasn't as bad as Nazi Germany but it was bad enough," he said. "We don't want this year to be a jingoistic carnival of celebration but rather a sober understanding that what Britain was fighting for was important. It was a war against aggression," he added."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:37 PM

Jim, those quotes prove that you lied about Sheffield.
You also lied about BBC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:44 PM

Sure wish there was some peace in THESE trenches.

I am not well versed in WW I. I am a child of a veteran of the Second World War. As a human being, I am aware of the burden that is implied on the sagacity of the human race that we have to name anything such as a war to be a 'world' war, but growing up I developed the opinion that the second of something was supposed to be a bigger and better version of the first, such as predicted by Gershwin's lampooning lyrics of 1927:

"We're in a bigger, better war
For your patriotic pastime.
We don't know what we're fighting for--
But we didn't know the last time!"


These lines, from Gershwin's original version of "Strike Up the Band" reflect a view that probably couldn't be reciprocated by Europe in the wake of the incredible losses on the many fronts of 1914-1918.

In my young ignorance I figured that World War I was a mere precursor with few lessons to offer, but the PBS series about The Great War set me straight in many ways:

The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
I've linked to the historian page.

This series linked the events of the war to the politics and technologies of the times. They illustrated how the political lay of the land shifted radically and in unforeseen ways. One of the quotes from it was that if a man were to awake from a hibernation of four years to be told that the monarchies of Russia, Germany, and Austria Hungary were no more, the Ottoman Empire was finished, and millions from all parts of the world had perished, he would scarce be able to believe it.

As for Gershwin, he would not live to witness the truly bigger war, in 1940, but the words of "Strike up the Band" would be changed:


"We hope there'll be no other war
But if we are forced into one--
The flag that we'll be fighting for
Is the Red and White and Blue one!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 12:55 PM

No they don't- not entirely anyway
Margaret McMillan contradicts you on several points - you have been given that information and have chosen to ignore it, as is your wont - will check the others later.
That aside, not counting Max Hastings, who we have proved and you have already concede is not a historian , but a tabloid journalist - I make that 11 historians - out of how many, do you reckon (it is you who has persistently rejected evidence from 'non historians).
Where is there any reference to "all historians agreeing with you" as you persistently claim?
You have been given a list of historians who have been involved in WW1 study, and what aspect they are studying - you won't respond to that list because you claim it to be unreadable.
Where is there any reference to a sea change in the understanding and teaching of history on the scale you are suggesting.
Where is there any reference to such an important debate taking place.
Where is there one shred of evidence that, apart from the tiny handful you have carefully selected (out of context), there are any historians re-examining WW1 history?
WHERE IS THERE A SHRED OF EVIDENCE THAT, APART FROM YOUR TINY, CAREFULLY SELECTED LIST - ANYBODY IS CONTEMPLATING SUCH AN IMPORTANT CHANGE IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HISTORY - IN OTHER WORDS - HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT ALL HISTORIANS AGREE WITH YOUR OPINIONS - A VISITATION MAYBE - OR MAYBE THIS IS JUST ANOTHER OF THOSE FACT YOU ARE MAKING UP? - (links on a plain postcard please)?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 01:31 PM

KEITH: FOR FUCK'S SAKE!

HE DOES NOT SAY WHICH "MAINSTREAM HISTORIANS" NOR HOW MANY NOR DOES HE NAME THEM.

HE DOES NOT SAY WHICH HISTORIANS OR HOW MANY HAVE "OVERTURNED" "THE "BAD WAR THEORY" OR HOW THEY HAVE DONE SO.

HE OFFERS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER, ONLY OWN OPINION, FOR THE CLAIMS HE MAKES.

I'm sure you could obtain a good, used brain for a modest outlay of cash, if you looked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 02:51 PM

Keith
A progress report - not good news I'm afraid -
I'm over half way through your list of historians and so far not one single one of them "makes your case" - not one.
What we seem to have is that one historian, or maybe two, agrees with with your point, but either disagrees, or contradicts the other points, or maybe (haven't found one yet) maybe two of them coincide on two points, but either disagree or don't comment on the other.
You appear to have cobbled together a list of historians who may or may not agree with a single point you are claiming, and presented them as a united front who back all your claims.
On this basis you have claimed that "all historians agree with me". This appears to shatter your "historian" claims absolutely on the basis of the list you have provided so far.
I await with interest to see if you produce any historian who agrees with all your points - and if you can show that "all historians" do - welll - what's your favourite charity?
Would start ringing around the hospices now - dead in the water, I'm afraid.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:10 PM

Michael Gove and this Sheffield bloke in agreement.

I doubt that such an accolade adds to anyone's credibility.

Poor bugger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:44 PM

"most criticism of Haig has come from war poets and satirists rather than historians or soldiers"

The point about the war about the war poets in this context is that they were soldiers. How far the kind of view of the war was the same kind of thing many soldiers felt or untypical is something which we just do not know, and can never know.

And the view in question is not that "they were dupes" but that the war was terrible, and they felt betrayed by their country in some ways, and also that they did not particularly trust their senior command to do the right thing, and that they felt some scorn for those who were organising the war from safe places far behind the front lines. Not untypical feelings among soldiers in most wars and in most armies.

And none of which would necessarily have meant that they might not have believed that they were fighting out of necessity, and that the other side were responsible for the war, or that felt a sense of patriotism. Whichever side they happened to be fighting on.

This is really a very silly thread. And rather a distasteful one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:55 PM

Max Hastings, who we have proved and you have already concede is not a historian , but a tabloid journalist

He is an historian.
No-one outside this forum denies it.
That how he always decribed in print and the media, e.g. the Guardian.
Your opinion counts for nothing.

Those historians have all been referred to.
Why not search the threads. You must have let it go at the time.

Margaret Macmillan quoted here a few days ago.
"I did not say, as Mr Gove suggests, that British soldiers in the first world war were consciously fighting for western liberal order. They were just defending their homeland and fighting what they saw as German militarism."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:03 PM

How far the kind of view of the war was the same kind of thing many soldiers felt or untypical is something which we just do not know, and can never know.
Yes we can and do.

And the view in question is not that "they were dupes" but that the war was terrible,
Oh please! Who in the world would deny that?!

and they felt betrayed by their country in some ways, and also that they did not particularly trust their senior command to do the right thing, and that they felt some scorn for those who were organising the war from safe places far behind the front lines. Not untypical feelings among soldiers in most wars and in most armies.

Well apparently it was for British soldiers in that war.
That is what the historians say.
Why should I believe you over them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:07 PM

Greg, earlier today you vilified me for saying "historians" not "some historians."

If Dr. Sheffield, Professor of History can say "mainstream historians" not "some mainstream histporians" so can I.

He is clear it is all of them and he should know more about it than Greg F!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 05:03 PM

"Yes we can and do". I'm afraid that is not true and cannot possibly be true, and a moments thought should confirm that..

Whether we are historians or journalists or random members of the human race all we know and all we can know is what some people wrote and what some people said. We haven't even got the kind of suggestive evidence that social research and opinion polls and suchlike can gather about contemporary public opinion which can allow us to make tentative generalisations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 05:50 PM

The historians say they have thousands of original documents such as letters and diaries, and surveys of vast numbers of veterans.

Someone should contact them and tell them that they do not know how to carry out research and do their job.

Jim, this quote earlier today is also Margaret Macmillan, as you would know if you read it.

"It was only at the end of the decade(1920s) that doubts crept in; the war had left a troubled world and the 1930s brought the threat of another great conflict. Increasingly, the Great War, as it was known, came to be seen as something that should never have happened and, still worse, that had settled nothing and destroyed much. Revisionist views of the war meshed with growing concerns in the democracies that another war was on its way. In 1934-35, nearly half the adult population of Britain voted for the peace ballot to show their support for the League of Nations and disarmament. Much of the great anti-war literature, including Robert Graves' Goodbye to All That, Wilfred Owen's poems and the play Journey's End, came out around this time. Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front was published to huge acclaim in 1929. Yet far more novels and memoirs at the time were either ambivalent about the rightness or otherwise of the war or, indeed, saw it as something that had had to be fought. And not everyone who had been in the war wanted to forget it. Millions joined veterans' associations, in part to recapture the camaraderie they had once felt."

"Now is surely the right time to challenge the accepted views. The wartime generals were not all cowards and incompetents as Alan Clark argued in his infamous The Donkeys (1961). A new generation of British historians, among others, has done much to explode such lazy generalisation and show that commanders developed both strategies and tactics that, in the end, worked. And was the war just a dreadful mistake or was it about something? At the time people on all sides thought they had a just cause. It is condescending and wrong to think they were hoodwinked. British soldiers felt they were fighting for their country and its values; French, German or Russian soldiers felt much the same."
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/7b6f0490-6347-11e3-a87d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2oJ9WwKyd


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:31 PM

I am afraid you very much exaggerate the extent which sources like that could provide unambiguous information about such matters. For one thing all letters were subject to official censorship as well as self censorship.

I doubt very much if any competent historian would go further than to say that such evidence indicated that there were many soldiers who did not appear to have felt the same kind of things I summarised. We know that some definitely did believe they were being poorly led by those at the highest level, we don't know and cannot know how prevalent that view was. But it is not in itself the issue, which is rather whether the leadership at the top was making the right decisions.

As I said whether the generals were all cowards and all incompetent is neither particularly likely or particularly relevant. The point is the decisions they made and the consequences of those decisions.

The bottom line is that most people probably share my view that the price of the allied victory was to high. And moreover that the ultimate consequences of that victory were disastrous. And that is not in itself a view about history but rather about ethics and politics.

Speculation about whether and how things could have worked out differently and better is science fiction, not history. When we are making history it is appropriate to speculate about outcomes and shape our actions by it. But history when it is written is not about what didn't happen, it is about what did happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:44 AM

I am afraid you very much exaggerate the extent which sources like that could provide unambiguous information about such matters. For one thing all letters were subject to official censorship as well as self censorship.

No. I have no opinion. It is all these professors who are much exaggerating. Do you think they are not aware of those considerations?

I doubt very much if any competent historian would go further than to say that such evidence indicated that there were many soldiers who did not appear to have felt the same kind of things I summarised.

Your doubts are misplaced because they do. If you read the literally dozens of linked quotes I have provided over the last ten weeks you will see that.

The bottom line is that most people probably share my view that the price of the allied victory was to high.

Yes they do, but the specialists tell us that most people are wrong.
If you read the literally dozens of linked quotes I have provided over the last ten weeks you will see that.

But history when it is written is not about what didn't happen, it is about what did happen.

I think all those professors know that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 03:00 AM

You could start with this link I provided yesterday, and many, many times before.
Prfessor Dr. Todman writing on the BBC History site.

"Sassoon and Wilfred Owen could be used to evoke an emotional reaction against war which engaged students and satisfied teachers, but which utterly misrepresented the feelings of most Britons who lived through the war years.

The extent to which this mythology was shared made it an attractive setting for television series and historical novels. Many jokes in the 1989 BBC TV series 'Blackadder Goes Forth' relied on the audience understanding that the war meant stupid generals, pointless attacks and universal death.

Similarly, authors such as Sebastian Faulks could rely on an emotional tenor of tragedy created by a wartime setting. Although works like Faulks' 'Birdsong' are fiction, audiences often believed that they communicated 'deeper truths' about the war, because they reflected their own misconceptions.

The self-reinforcing power of these myths gives them tremendous power. Since the 1980s, a boom in carefully conducted archival investigation has done much to uncover the war's complexity: how it was fought and won by the British army on the Western Front, how domestic support and dissent were encouraged and managed, and how the war was remembered.

Yet this academic research has had almost no impact on popular understanding."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/perceptions_01.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 04:21 AM

"Your opinion counts for nothing."
Neither is yours Keith
You have no overall backing for anything you have claimed - not one single 'witness' you have produced backs the overall case you are all demanding we disprove - not one.
Not even Max Hastings, the tabloid journalist, makes the case you are making - real historians have described his analysis of the causes of World War One as "weak" - but then again, he is only a tabloid journalist.
I have given you a preview of my skip through your list of witnesses - the others appear to produce exactly the same results - no comfort from any of them I'm afraid
You have built your entire case on sand - unless, of course, you'd like to show me something I've overlooked - won't hold my breath.
You have not even acknowledged my request for proof of your "all historians" claim, let along produced proof of your outrageously stupid statement - unless, of course, you'd like to show me something I've overlooked - won't hold my breath.
One again, just like your "all male Pakistanis" and Irish Famine arguments, you have produced nothing yourself, have hidden behind a team of "experts" and invented an entire scenario based on cut-'n-pastes which you have carefully extracted and taken out of context.
Smoke and mirrors that don't stand up under careful, or even casual scrutiny
All the out-of-context isolated hastily assembled quotes you produce do not in any way back up your all-embracing and nearly a century out-of-date claims - you will have to read a book in order to do that, and quite honestly, I can't see that happening in the near future - can you - honestly (both (reading and being honest) foreign concepts with you apparently?
As I said earlier, "for you, the war is over Tommy", but then again, you never really left the home front, did you?
Dismiss, Private A.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 04:38 AM

Interesting letter in yesterday's Indescribablyboring. (The only iPhone app newspaper that doesn't charge you for content if you must know. Paying them only encourages the buggers.)

Blows our jingo juggler out of the water.

Another one questions why we celebrate the start of the war, surely we should only note the end of it?

The answer to that question would also explain the reasons behind this revision of history to allow the government to give us something to celebrate.

Something rather distasteful, that nobody has anything to be proud of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 05:26 AM

Jim.
Start with Hastings, Sheffield, Todman, and Brown.
Add in Prof saul David who described Sheffield as the "foremost authority" and Nigel Jones who described Hastings as our "leading military historian."
Malcolm Brown. How many do you want?

Not even Max Hastings, the tabloid journalist, makes the case you are making


Yes he doe. Exactly so, as do those above.

- real historians have described his analysis of the causes of World War One as "weak"

No they have not.

Musket.
There is no pay-wall on the Indie.
Let's have a look at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 05:55 AM

You have the request for proof - you are ignoring it
Denial or character reference just doesn't hack it
Jim Carroll.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 06:09 AM

You want us to start the whole thing again.
Great.
Give me the first 2 things you want proof of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:11 AM

Don't want proof of anything other than your lying claims of your having support from and "all historians sharing your view"
Lie down Keith, your dead
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 09:46 AM

Well Jim, that is intrinsically unproveable.
However, disproving it would be the easiest thing in the world.
Just name one.

All of you together have been unable to do that in ten solid weeks of trying!

Absence of disproof is as good as proof in this case, but as I said yesterday, I will drop the claim the moment you find one.
Fair enough?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 09:56 AM

most criticism of Haig has come from war poets and satirists rather than historians or soldiers

Says who, other than Sheffield? Anmy actual evidence for this statement?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 09:59 AM

If Dr. Sheffield, Professor of History can say "mainstream historians" not "some mainstream histporians" so can I.

You sure can. And you're both being sloppy and offer no evidence to support what you say.

You and Sheffield can also most certainly say the world is flat. Still don't make it true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 10:04 AM

Absence of disproof is as good as proof in this case

Congratulations, Keith! Uou've outdone yourself! That is absolutely the most idiotic statement you've ever made, and it has some tough competition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 10:45 AM

"Just name one."
You cannot be serious - so you can tell us that you have not really been claiming what you have been claiming over what feels like the last century.
You appear to be attempting to rescue a modicum of credibility from what has been your most disastrous debacles to date.
If you haven't got the good grace to bow out with a degree of dignity, please go and annoy somebody else, or pull the cat's tale, or whatever fractious children do to amuse themselves nowadays.
Piss off, I'm really too busy to play with you this afternoon - tomorrow maybe!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 11:16 AM

So, you still can not find one historian whose views contradict mine!
You lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 11:55 AM

Historians who would not agree with each thing you have said? Many of those you have quoted Keith, as demonstrated in this thread.

Historians who might agree with some of the things you have said?

Quite a lot, include some at least of those who you reject as irrelevant on account of the fact they have died.

For example it seems true enough that some soldiers on both sides believed passionately in the justice of their cause and believed that it was right to keep on fighting till the bitter end. Some saw it differently, on both sides.

It is also likely true enough that not all generals were cowards and fools and that some of the decisions they made were sensible. It is also true that they made sure to stay in safe places while they made those plans - it would be astonishing if the reverse was the case.

As for the responsibility for starting the war, The German Empire had a particular responsibility for that, though other countries played an important part in bringing it about. But the responsibility for continuing it after the initial attack had failed was shared very evenly between all.

After the failure of the Schlieffen Plan a ceasefire and armistice would have been possible and sensible. No efforts to bring it about were made, and no attempts were made to negotiate a ceasefire for the next four years.

Part of the background to the tragically partial Christmas Truce was the appeal by Pope Benedict XV for a general Christmas Truce (He described the war as "the suicide of Europe", a description that could hardly be improved upon) The Allies completely rejected it out of hand, and after some initial consideration, so did the Germans. If either side had declared support for it, or announced unilaterally that they were going to observe it., who knows what could have resulted.

Launching the war was indeed criminal, and Germany had a special role in that. But all parties played a role in ensuring that it continued so long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 12:26 PM

Letter from Europe:
100 Years After The Great War, Bad Guy is Still Elusive

The U. S. Military, (and probably EVERY military going back to before the Iliad) has a word for it:

CLUSTERFUKC


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 12:40 PM

Ya pronounce that fooksee?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:30 PM

"So, you still can not find one historian whose views contradict mine!
You lose."
I might have "lost" as you so competitively put it if you had actually produced a historian who supports your case - and whare on earth ale "all those historians"/
Must have all gone skiing!!
Pratt
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:40 PM

Congrats.   Without a doubt the most dumbass thread in the history of Mudcat. How do I know? Because I qualify better than anyone on this thread as a MUDCAT HISTORIAN and MY Mudcat history is better than YOUR Mudcat history.

Geezizhchristonafuckincrutch.......

A couple of you are like little kids....Who the hell cares? A hundred years later, we're still involved in stupid wars and the ones which must fight the war can see it very differently than from those who will write the history. All history is philosophy as all reality is perceived.

Yeah dickheads, I know I don't have to read or even open this but for the sake of all of us here who remember far better and funnier days on the dear old 'Cat......Take this shit elsewhere. Like to some other website perhaps.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:15 PM

if you had actually produced a historian who supports your case

Start with Hastings, Sheffield, Todman, and Brown.
Add in Prof Saul David who described Sheffield as the "foremost authority" and Nigel Jones who described Hastings as our "leading military historian."
Malcolm Brown. How many do you want?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:23 PM

Kevin.
Historians who would not agree with each thing you have said? Many of those you have quoted Keith, as demonstrated in this thread.

Really?
Which?
How?
Macmillan possibly about going to war, but probably not once the German offensive started.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:28 PM

Read and think about what you are reading. Don't just skim through stuff and tick off the bits you think fit.

Spaw is of course right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Troubadour
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:35 PM

"They were just defending their homeland and fighting what they saw as German militarism."

Or, more accurately, what they were TOLD was German militarism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Troubadour
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:37 PM

And repeatedly TOLD by government posters, government recruiters and their women folk "We don't want to lose you, but we think you ought to go"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Troubadour
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:45 PM

"So, you still can not find one historian whose views contradict mine!
You lose."

No clown, you are the one making a case, so prove it!

Link to one historian, living or dead (we'll give you more leeway than you ever have), who agrees with every one of your points.

Include Alan Clark in that if you really want to impress. After all, he WAS closaer to the events under discussion than ANY of your "historians".


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 03:00 AM

Still waiting for reinforcements Private A Hole of Hertford?

Sorry, the top brass prefer your sacrifice on this one. You are on your own. Never mind, 100 years from now we will make sure people know we sent them anyway. After all, we don't want people thinking you weren't well led.


BAARRR!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 04:25 AM

Keith obviously intends to continue to try to save face out of this shambles long after his credibility (what there ever was of it) trousers have fallen down to his ankles - long may he continue to do so.
It will make sure that he will never ever be taken seriously by anybody with any sense again on this forum.
Keep up the good work Keith
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:28 AM

Kevin
Historians who would not agree with each thing you have said? Many of those you have quoted Keith, as demonstrated in this thread.


Simply false.
Put something up.

Troubadour
Link to one historian, living or dead (we'll give you more leeway than you ever have), who agrees with every one of your points.


I have, over and over again.
e.g. Hastings, Todman, Sheffield,...........................

Musket
Still waiting for reinforcements Private A Hole of Hertford?


No. The only support I have is from professors of History and other acclaimed professional Historians.
Sadly, there are none of those on the forum.

Jim, all those historians may be talking shit, in which case I am wrong.
If the historians know more about History than us, I am right and you lose.
I am happy to leave it there, and will enjoy seeing all your silly noses rubbed in your ignorance as the story unfolds over the next four years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:30 AM

Sheffield, "History Today"
"Max Hastings, who had stated that most historians held Germany and Austria-Hungary primarily responsible for the outbreak of the First World War. While recently there has been an attempt to spread the blame, particularly by pinning responsibility on Russia, this indeed remains the mainstream position among serious historians. In the debate over war guilt, what happened next is often ignored. However the conflict started, Germany took full advantage to carry out a war of conquest and aggression. Britain's First World War was a war of national survival, a defensive conflict fought at huge cost against an aggressive enemy bent on achieving hegemony in Europe."

"There is much in the Government's commemoration plans that should be applauded, but I cannot approve of the decision, for political reasons, to take the path of least resistance by maintaining its non-judgmental stance. No one wants to see five years of German-bashing, but we run the risk of missing a (literally) once in a century opportunity to educate the public about the war. For the government to show leadership by showcasing the wealth of scholarly research that undermines the Blackadder view might be politically risky, but it is the right thing to do."
http://www.historytoday.com/gary-sheffield/great-war-was-just-war


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:31 AM

Thank you Mac!

Now if the rest of you are tired of this nonsense, allow Keith to have the pathetic last word because no one actually cares do they?

Now Keith, since there are so many fools and other sorts far below your advanced knowledge on THIS forum, supposedly about folk music, why not take all your wonderful thoughts and opinions elsewhere and fight with people who are at your high level on the dickwad meter?

Or just have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up!

Have a nice day.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 08:17 AM

"allow Keith to have the pathetic last word because no one actually cares do they?"
Amen to that
Seems to be his sole object in all these discussions
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 08:21 AM

Thanks Spaw.
This debate started when I said I did not like a song because it patronised dead soldiers, saying they did not know why they fought and that they died for nothing.

I alone made their case for them, but only by using the findings of all the current historians of the period.

I do think they know better than all the muppets so stridently trying to shout me down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:23 AM

Only one muppet here me old love.

Daddy? What did you do in the war? Even turning children against their fathers to cover up the incompetence and callous disregard.

Michael Gove even made the front cover of The Week this week. So at least you aren't on your own Keith. Another looney right merchant there to join you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM

the findings of all the current historians of the period.

"All"? Beyond pathetic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:36 AM

I was never on my own.
Everything I have ever claimed I have backed up with linked quotes from professors of History and other acclaimed historians.
None of you have found a single dissenting voice from anyone with any knowledge.
You just have each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:40 AM

Yes Greg.
All.
That is why in ten solid weeks not one of you have managed to find a single one.

Sheffield and Todman have made the same statement, and they are better placed to know the truth of it that Greg F!
Beyond pathetic Greg?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 11:00 AM

"Sheffield and Todman have made the same statement,"
Down to two historians that agree with you now - nearly there Keith, only a couple to go before you arrive at none
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 11:14 AM

No Jim, they all agree with me on the History.
Sheffield and Todman just confirmed that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 12:32 PM

Well, stupid is as stupid does, Keith, And this pig ain't never gonna be able to carry a tune. Have fun revelling in your delusions.

Bye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM

"Delusions" that you can find nothing against, but I can produce expert after expert to substantiate.
How can that be Greg?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:19 AM

No-one delved into the diaries to get it straight from the horses mouth yet?

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:33 AM

Yes.
They have been available for research off line for some years.
They form a large part of the archival evidence available to modern historians that was not available to their predecessors.

It is not "fashion" that has shaped the current understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:44 AM

No-one ON THIS DISCUSSION delved into the diaries to get it straight from the horses mouth yet?

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 04:34 AM

"About 1.5 million diary pages are held by the National Archives and a fifth have been digitised so far."
"Some 25 volunteers scanned hundreds of boxes of diaries - which had been available for the public to view at the National Archive in Kew since the late 1960s - between January and December last year."

It would be a massive task to study sufficient to be able to make any assessments.
It is a task for professional historians.
They have been working on them for decades, and I have reported their findings here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 04:53 AM

So, the answer is no then?

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 05:02 AM

No from me.
The others on this discussion were not even prepared to read any history later than 1980, so I doubt they will either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 06:03 AM

OK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 06:30 AM

You can't say fairer than that.






Tsk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 07:45 AM

I knew a bloke who has a speech impediment. He could not pronounce t or f. I said to him, "you can't say fairer than that".

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 07:36 AM

I hesitate to post and refresh this thread again, but in light of Keith's continuing insistance that all historians share his version of history it seems appropriate to point out at least one exception.

Christpher Clark is professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge, and author of "The Sleepwalkers: how Europe went to war". In a two page spread in today's Guardian he indicates that he disagrees with the suggestion that German aggression started the Great War, preferring to see the cause as "the consequence of interactions between the great powers, each willing to resort to violence in support of its interests."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 08:45 AM

If you are going to reignite the thread on the basis of historians who don't share Keith's establishment revision, we'll be here all bloody year.......

In the absence of his reply yet, let me guess it.

That's only one! I bet you can't find any others. Because there aren't any! I'm right, you're wrong and I have every historian on my side.

Apart from the one you just mentioned.

Oh, and the others.

Oh, everybody other than me is capable of reading and forming their own conclusions whereas I read the one offered and proclaim it as the definitive only explanation of the facts.

I am a model citizen.

Dribble


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Jan 14 - 10:59 AM

The only views I expressed were that Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that, and that the British army was not badly led.

I acknowledged that McMillan and others disputed that Germany bore sole responsibility, though most historians don't.

There is a scathing review of Clark's book here.
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/books/2012/09/lets-not-be-beastly-to-the-germans/

So, has anyone found any living historian who challenges any of my expressed views?
No.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 03:42 AM

Historians are professional experts in their field.
Bankers are professional experts in their field.
Clergymen are professional experts in their field.
Politicians are professional experts in their field.
Policemen are professional experts in their field.
Soldiers are professional experts in their field.

None of them are ever wrong.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 04:05 AM

As historians do not always agree, so they cannot all be right.

However, on the views I expressed there is a consensus.
They ALL agree.

They would have to ALL be wrong together.
Their evidence would all have to be false.
Otherwise, I am right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 05:18 AM

They ALL agree

Christopher Clark "disagrees with the suggestion that German aggression started the Great War"

Some discrepancy here?

Anyway - If my previous post did not make it plain enough I will clarify. Everyone can be wrong. Even experts. Even when they are in the majority. To anyone who believes they are absolutely right I refer them to the previous sentence. Feel free to believe you are right but don't expect everyone else to believe it as well :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 06:19 AM

That was not one of my stated views.
I acknowledged that there is some (not much) debate about events leading up to the war.

The only views I expressed were that Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that, and that the British army was not badly led


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 06:26 AM

Everyone can be wrong. Even experts. Even when they are in the majority. To anyone who believes they are absolutely right I refer them to the previous sentence. Feel free to believe you are right but don't expect everyone else to believe it as well :-)

I agree with all that.
I just expressed my views, and pointed out that the historians agree.
That is how I came by my views.

I have been told not just that I am wrong, but that I am lying, that I am fuckwit, that I am a cunt, and much else just for stating those views.

We are all free to dismiss the work, research and findings of the historians, but where else should we go to learn about History?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 06:44 AM

Not by me, Keith! I believe your views, and those of any historians, are part of the picture but do not believe that they are definitive. I have explained in detail elsewhere but, for the record once again, I believe that all historians colour their findings in a way that suits them. There is no such thing as an unbiased view of history.

As to 'where else should we go to learn about History?'. Well, time and again we have proved that we do not not learn from history. The same mistakes are made over and over again. The study of history appears to be very academic and, as far as the real world goes, pretty pointless.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 06:53 AM

We may not learn lessons from History, but there is such a thing as History?

Our knowledge of History is constantly evolving.
My view is the current understanding of those who study it.
Of course they might all be wrong, but do you not need a reason to dismiss their findings?
What reason does anyone have to believe that the Historians are wrong and they are right?

Where does the non-historian version of History come from?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 07:47 AM

What reason does anyone have to believe that the Historians are wrong and they are right?

I have no idea about anyone else. For myself I will say, once again, there is no such thing as an unbiased view of history. No right, no wrong. Historians, and everyone else for that matter, work to their own agenda and within their own remit.

Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter.
Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.
In the 1980's industrial action by the miners brought the country to it's knees.
In the 1980's action against the miners by the government brought the country to it's knees.
Oswald Moseley was a visionary who wanted the best for England.
Oswald Moseley was a fascist traitor.


Need I go on?

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 08:06 AM

Mandella, the miners' strike, and Mosley are controversial issues.
Historians deal with known facts, and form opinions from the evidence available.
They do not always reach the same conclusions.

In this case they do.
Who knows better?
Where does that other "knowledge" come from?

Is there an analogy with the creation debate?
Most people in the world still believe in the supernatural, mythological version of that History that used to be held by the best brains.

The experts are now almost unanimous that there was no supernatural intervention, but most people prefer the old, discredited stories.

I can only say to them that knowledge has moved on.
They can only say that experts can be wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 08:12 AM

Oy Co co opted Messiah.

I was a miner and the only thing I brought to my knees was myself on a Saturday night in Worksop Miners Welfare.....

Surgeons may disagree between themselves, but as they are proper trained professionals, it would be folly to disagree with their suggestions, although you might disagree with the need.

Historians are people who call themselves historians. They might teach or study history, but there is no competence criteria, as the subject is too broad and subjective. The ability to look at something and comment on what you conclude from it is sufficient. Hence newspaper hacks and politicians use the term and nobody kicks up a fuss.

However, putting them on a pedestal of real experts is where Keith's naive view of the world takes a tumble. The only difference between Keith and them, or me and them for that matter is that they have considered a bit more evidence and we have to separate the evidence they present from their opinion of it. Once we do that, we too can hold a view that is valid.

Unless you struggle with the thought process, eh Keith?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 08:19 AM

>i>Historians deal with known facts, and form opinions...

...Who knows better?

That is the whole point. They do not know. They have opinions. OK - Those opinions may be formed from facts but the opinions themselves are NOT facts. They can never be stated as such.

Some things can be stated as facts. XXXX men died in a battle on such and such a date. Some things cannot be stated as fact. The battle was due to poor leadership / enemy aggression / imperialist action. These are opinions. There is a HUGE difference.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 10:34 AM

So History in unknowable?

There is evidence in original source material.
Some Historians may put more weight on this or that bit and come to different conclusions.
In this case the evidence leads them all to the same conclusion.

What evidence are the "mudcat" conclusions based on?
Why do you call me a cunt just because I base my views on the findings of historians Musket?
Where do yours come from?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 10:43 AM

Dave, I am not sure what we are debating.
I have never said the historians are right and Mudcat members wrong.

I have said that unless the historians are wrong, I am right.

Musket seems to say that there is no such thing as a historian!
What should we call someone whose working life is devoted to studying and researching History Musket?
Why does that not make them more knowledgeable than you or me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 10:43 AM

Did I call you a cunt? Many apologies.

A cunt is actually useful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 10:48 AM

So History in unknowable?

No it isn't. It is very knowable and very interpretable (Is that a word?)

Once again, opinion, even expert opinion, is not fact. Stating that the British Army was well led in WW1 as a fact is wrong. It is an opinion, regardless of how many people say it is so.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 03:03 PM

I put this to you Dave.
The BBC seeks to inform the public about WW1 through pages on its History site.
To do that, they commissioned historians to write it.
As a result, they provide a version in line with my views.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/

Were the BBC wrong to use historians to write the history?
What should they have done?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 05:42 PM

after several years, BBC have changed the links!
Use this.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/perceptions_01.shtml#one


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 05:47 PM

And this.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/origins_01.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 05:49 PM

Finally.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/lions_donkeys_01.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Troubadour
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 06:32 PM

"They do not always reach the same conclusions.

In this case they do."

And the fact that the establishment would dearly love to use the upcoming centenary as an opportunity for hysterical jingoistic self praise would never have influenced such upright pillars of society, nor of course would the prospect of inclusion in the next honours list.

It is, as has been said here, largely interpretation and opinion, but it is ridiculous to suggest that examination of just 25% of war diaries is sufficient for the level of certainty expressed, even if no selectivity were involved in choosing that number.

Nor is it reasonable to dismiss out of hand the diaries and writings of such erudite, informed, articulate and intelligent men as Owen and Sassoon, when their writings were based on personal experience of the trenches.

The rank and file were filled up with the propaganda hammered into them by everyone from the government down to their own wives and children.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 07:03 PM

No, the BBC were not wrong to do so. But neither am I wrong to be sceptical of their opinions. Facts can rarely be disputed. Opinions, using the old adage, are like arseholes. Everyone has one but they should rarely be displayed in public.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 01:51 AM

The opinions of historians are informed opinions, based on study and research.
More informed than mine or yours.
That is why bbc used historians, and not people off the street.
That is why universities use them to teach and research.
If it is OK for BBC to use the opinions of historians to tell the story, why is it wrong for me to believe them and put their views here.
What objective, rational reason do people here have to dismiss them?
Where do their alternative versions come from?

Troubadour, the "establishment" has no interest in history.
Historians have been complaining that the plans of the "establishment" government to commemorate the centenary do not incorporate the current understanding.

Do you really believe that historians are part of an establishment conspiracy to falsify the History of a century old war?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 02:44 AM

"The BBC moved the link. "

Strange observation Keith? After all, if you of all people say that can happen , it makes your stance that the rest of us are liars look a tad shaky.

After all, you are the one who's default position is to check if other contributors are lying before framing your next post. Sadly, your lack of search skills makes the accusation your default position. Not to mention the contempt it shows. Oh, and then complain when others throw your contempt back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 03:42 AM

The link changed after I posted it yesterday.
I supplied links to the pieces in question as soon as I noticed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 04:56 AM

why is it wrong for me to believe them and put their views here.

Equally why is wrong for me not to believe them and put my views here? The opinions of historians are still opinions, not facts. Opinions can and always will be disputed.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 06:11 AM

Of course it is not wrong, but I do not understand it.
If I found myself disagreeing with people who know far more about the subject than I do, I would question my beliefs not theirs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 09:55 AM

Fair enough.

Most of us are intelligent enough to trust our analysis. Stop judging others by your own limitations.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
GBS


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 10:31 AM

If I found myself disagreeing with people who know far more about the subject than I do, I would question my beliefs not theirs.

In that case, its way past time you started questioning your "beliefs".

By the way, you can "believe" anything you wish, but that doesn't make it true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 11:59 AM

I did question my beliefs.
I used to believe what you still do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 12:46 PM

Questioning is a process, Keith, not an end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 01:51 PM

If I found myself disagreeing with people who know far more about the subject than I do, I would question my beliefs not theirs.

I am sure Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin knew far more about politics than I ever will but I have no doubts whatsoever that my beliefs are fairer.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 19 Jan 14 - 02:34 AM

Greg, you have finally said something I fully agree with.
I hope you and your friends will take it in board.

My views have developed over the years, inspired by the work and research of the most knowledgeable people in the country.
As result, my views are those of the historians.
For Musket's benefit, historians are the people who spend their working lives studying the work of previous historians and carrying out original research to expand and develop our knowledge.

People here have other views.
Not one historian can be found who thinks what they think, but they have each other, and they just know that all the historians are wrong.

(What do you call someone who refuses to stop believing a discredited belief however much evidence is put in front of them?
Fundamentalist?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 19 Jan 14 - 03:14 AM

Your favourite historian spent his working life issuing apologising to famous people for writing lies about them in the newspaper he edited. Many others spent their working lives in the commons chamber debating amendments to fruit labelling bills.

Talking of politics. I notice one of your UKIP politicians has said the recent floods are because we turned our backs on God and introduced gay marriage. I'm sure he researched it better than I could. After all, he's both a Christian and a politician. A dangerous fucker in both senses to be fair, but hey! We can't argue with experts eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 19 Jan 14 - 07:57 AM

I have never been a UKIP supporter as you know.
You lie in a desperate bid to discredit someone who you can not challenge.

I do not have a favourite historian, and none of those I have ever quoted or referred to have ever been in Parliament.

Just more lies.
You have nothing else.
You are pathetic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 04:36 AM

BBC has put up some new stuff by other historians.

"A select group of well-educated soldier officers, including Wilfred Owen, came to view the war as one of pity and horror. This was a minority view but expressed through powerful and well-written poetry. In the 1960s a literary elite decided this was the most authentic view of the conflict because it chimed with their own anti-war feelings. This resulted in the publication of two key war poetry anthologies edited by Brian Gardner and Ian Parsons. These heavily featured Owen and other poets whose work seemed to suggest World War One had been futile.

4.
One voice among thousands
While Owen wrote powerful poetry, he was just one of 2,225 men and women from Britain and Ireland who had poems published during World War One. "

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z38rq6f


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 04:44 AM

20 January 2014 Last updated at 00:35
Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked. (Dan Snow)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25776836


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 04:17 AM

Next Monday BBC1

Launching the BBC's biggest and most ambitious season to commemorate the World War One Centenary, Britain's Great War, presented by Jeremy Paxman, and co-produced in partnership with The Open University, is a four-part landmark history series of how the First World War affected the lives of the British people and created what we know as modern Britain.

In the first episode, Jeremy Paxman traces the story of the dramatic early stages of the war: from stunned disbelief to the mass recruitment of volunteer soldiers. Fear of invasion grips the country, Boy Scouts guard bridges and spies are suspected everywhere. For the first time, British civilians are fired on by enemy ships and bombed from the air. Jeremy meets a 105-year-old eyewitness to the shelling of Hartlepool, who describes how she thought the Germans had landed.

The BBC's centenary programming will explain why the First World War happened, commemorate and remember those involved, shine a light on what it was like to live through this cataclysmic event in world history, and interrogate and debate just what its legacy has meant for modern society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 04:22 AM

Jeremy Paxman, the presenter of the series, said: "The trouble with so much of our understanding of World War One is that it is seen through the prism of the prejudices of the hundred years which have followed it. It's an amazing and important story which deserves to be viewed afresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 05:02 AM

I was always amazed by the recollections of my Grandad - Wounded twice, including loosing the sight in one eye, sent back to the front twice. His memories were a combination of horrors at the hardships and fond memories of the comradeship. His proudest moment was winning a French civilian medal for rescuing a girl from a well!

This is why I believe it is not as cut and dried as good or bad. I am pretty sure most people who lived through it will have had a lot of mixed feelings and for anyone to paint it as black or white seems wrong.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 05:28 AM

I completely agree Dave.
None of the historians have described the war in terms of being "cut and dried, good or bad" or "black and white" and I have consciously avoided doing so.

Unlike Musket and Jim.
Their case has been unequivocal, with no concessions, and anyone who sees it any other way is a "fuckwit cunt."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 06:25 AM

In which case, Keith, that is fine by me. It did seem that you were saying it was cut and dried. Your actual phrase was

I have said that unless the historians are wrong, I am right.

I interpreted that as you were right that the war was supported by all and well led. I was saying that he truth is probably somewhere in between and different interpretations will lead to opinions ranging from the war was chalk to the war was cheese! Mind you, as you may remember from previous threads, I have been in trouble before for being able to see both sides of an argument and being able to agree with certain bits of each. I am sure the same will happen here ;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 07:07 AM

No historian claimed "supported by all."
Just a large majority.
The claim that the army was well led was qualified with acknowledgements that mistakes were made that led to thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Jim, Musket and Greg rejected those views with contempt and abuse.
What do historians know compared to us?!
I accept them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 07:25 AM

The claim that the army was well led was qualified with acknowledgements that mistakes were made that led to thousands of unnecessary deaths.

I must have missed you posting that before. Or is this the first time of posting it? Apologies if you did make that clear before.

Cheers

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 08:54 AM

I said I believed what the historians say, that the army was well led.
I supported that statements with links to examples of historians discussing that issue.

None ever denied that terrible mistakes were made, and described some.
I think you missed all those links.
Would you like me to repeat some?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 09:00 AM

I linked to this piece for instance.
It contains this, but please read the whole piece. Four minutes only.

"One cannot ignore the appalling waste of human life in World War One. Some of these losses were undoubtedly caused by incompetence. Many more were the result of decisions made by men who, although not incompetent, were like any other human being prone to making mistakes. Haig's decision to continue with the fighting at Passchendaele in 1917 after the opportunity for real gains had passed comes into this category. In some ways the British and other armies might have grasped the potential of technology earlier than they did. During the Somme, Haig and Rawlinson failed to understand the best way of using artillery"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/lions_donkeys_01.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 09:08 AM

that last was gary Sheffield.
This is dan Todman.
"Military historians have come to talk of a 'learning curve' for the British army on the Western Front. This should not, however, necessarily be taken to mean a smooth progression of expertise. Many soldiers, at all levels of command, made mistakes or misinterpreted their experiences.

Sometimes the wrong lessons were learned, or circumstances prevented the use of the most effective tactics. Given the high turnover of personnel, improvements could be hard to sustain. Yet we can point to individuals whose long term experience of battle allowed them to adapt to the demands of the Western Front. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 09:10 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/gallery_tactics_08.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 09:22 AM

Funnily enough, I read that one earlier! It is indeed a good piece and, in my opinion, even handed. It is still, however, an opinion. In the first paragraph it says

Many popular books, films and television programmes echo this belief. The casualty list - one million British Empire dead - and the bloody stalemate of the Western Front seem to add credence to this version of events. But there is another interpretation.

There is another interpretation being the key phrase here. I am not questioning that one opinion is that the army was well led. There is, however, an opposing viewpoint that the troops were indeed lions led by donkeys. I have no doubt in my mind that the truth is somewhere between and there is no point in arguing 'degrees of truth'.

I think it is also significant that the line "One undeniable fact is that Britain and its allies, not Germany, won the First World War." The old adage is that the victor writes the history books and I have serious doubts as to whether any victor would play up all the major mistakes made!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 09:29 AM

There is, however, an opposing viewpoint that the troops were indeed lions led by donkeys

There is, but not held by any current historian or military historian.
It is the non-historian view, which I suggest is because it is unsupported by the facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 09:46 AM

There is, but not held by any current historian or military historian.

Same old bullshit, eh Kevin?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 10:11 AM

Not bullshit Greg.
Fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 10:20 AM

Was the British Army (including Empire troops) well led?

They certainly weren't the worst going by casualty figures both killed and wounded.

A tiny force at the start of the war, they were the only force at the end of it capable of withstanding the massive German assault brought about by the release of over a million German troops from the former eastern front and then followed that up with an offensive of their own that brought the war to an end.

They embraced new technology quicker than any of the other combatant nations and proved themselves to be great innovators and improvisers.

So on balance I would have to side towards the argument that states they were well led.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 10:40 AM

Fianl paragraph, Dr.Sheffield.
"Haig, however, was no technophobe. He encouraged the development of advanced weaponry such as tanks, machine guns and aircraft. He, like Rawlinson and a host of other commanders at all levels in the BEF, learned from experience. The result was that by 1918 the British army was second to none in its modernity and military ability. It was led by men who, if not military geniuses, were at least thoroughly competent commanders. The victory in 1918 was the payoff. The 'lions led by donkeys' tag should be dismissed for what it is - a misleading caricature."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 11:34 AM

Tell ya what, Keith- why don't you list each and every one of the "current historians" you've consulted in developing your thesis.

Then let us have the names of all "current historians" - worldwide, mind you, not just British - who have ever written on World War I.

Then we'll see just how spurious your nonsensical claim is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 01:18 PM

Isn't it fascinating how Keith A Hole of Hertford manages to slowly reluctantly contradict his more silly claims and at the same time paint other contributors as being very one sided themselves. "Unlike Musket" has a ring of desperation about it. After all, my views are very down the middle on this, always have been and unless convinced otherwise, always will be.

Which means of course that the butcher of The Somme sending waves of men over the top to certain death needs factoring into any tosh about being well led. Which means the white feathers, propaganda and firing squads need factoring into any tosh about well informed volunteers.

Can't beat balance eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 01:34 PM

"Lions led by donkeys" is obviously an ideological slogan, meant to praise the common soldiers and blame (relative) failures on others, e.g. the Upper Class. It cannot possibly be true.

The only relevant dispute is about political justification. Bad politics resulting in warfare is condemnable, and would be so even if the military strategy had been optimal.

I have no doubt that some German military circles would have loved to dominate the world if deemed feasible. So would some military circles in most other countries, even today. If we were to accept "it's either them or us" (= our military leaders, not our people as a whole!), war would be inevitable, always. Fortunately, there is diplomacy. We must demand from our governments to excel in diplomacy, not allow them to profit from past false glory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 03:02 PM

Greg, I have named many in the course of these threads.
I have also shown that the historians themselves say that all historians agree, and there is no outcry from dissenting historians.
How about you making me look ridiculous by naming just one?
You can't, because you are the bullshitter, not me.

Musket, you can believe your discredited myths if you want to, but not one single military historian agrees with you.
They might all be wrong, but I think it more likely that they are better informed even than you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM

Greg, I have named many in the course of these threads.

You've mentioned perhaps half a dozen, all of them British.

I have also shown that the historians themselves say that all historians agree

Firstly, they say no such thing. Secondly, if they did say "all", it would be only their unsubstantiated opinion at best, and utter bullshit at worst.

Now, about that list of "all current historians" worldwide: I'm still waiting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 05:49 PM

Todman and Sheffield said all.
Now, about that list of one single dissenting historian.
I'm still waiting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 08:07 PM

Todman and Sheffield said all.

Sorry, I was mistaken; its not half a dozen, its two. And you have provided no evidence to back up their opinions, nor have they.

It is YOUR thesis, Keith, so it is YOUR job to substantiate it, not mine. So far, you have failed to do so. Abysmally so.

So, get to it, or shut up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 02:24 AM

Sorry, I was mistaken; its not half a dozen, its two. And you have provided no evidence to back up their opinions, nor have they.

No it is all.
I have quoted two renowned historians who say it is all.
The proof is that not one historian has objected to their blanket assertion.

And, you have provided no evidence at all in twelve weeks, because there isn't any.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 04:56 AM

If all historians did agree on something, I'd smell a rat. All North Korean historians agree the previous idiot in the inbred dynasty scored a series of holes in one on his first ever round of golf.

Luckily, even the historians Keith takes out of context put different perspectives on evidence as reading their output properly tends to show....


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM

If that is true Musket, put up an example.
Make it a really bad one why don't you?!

I have put nothing out of context, and in every case provided a link so that my extract could be seen in its intended context.

The fact that you have to lie says all anyone needs to know about the veracity of your case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket practicing veracity
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 05:47 AM

Better than preaching it I suppose.

Yep, I most certainly do conform to facts. Do you?

That's a big word for a small argument me old duck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 05:50 AM

If that is true Musket, put up an example.
Make it a really bad one for me why don't you?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 10:13 AM

OK, Keith, lets tackle this from yuour perspective, using your metnods.

Two people (ok, many more than two, but lets keep it simple) on this forum say you're a complete idiot. They also say that everyone thinks you're a complete idiot.

Therefore, QED, you are in fact a complete idiot.

'Nuf said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 10:55 AM

They call me idiot for believing renowned, professional historians on the very specialism of those experts.
They believe they know more than professors who have made this their life's work.

I question their judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 12:09 PM

You CAN'T question their judgement, Keith. It doesn't matter WHY they call you an idiot, the same way it doesn't matter to you why your two historians hold the views they do and express the opinions they do.

According to your own system, it has been conclusively proven that you are a complete idiot.

End of story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Musket
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 12:34 PM

Oh, and Max Hastings's life work was starting by reporting parish council meetings ending with editing a newspaper. The historian title is purely to denote the genre of his books.

A bit like any historian. Regardless whether they have a day job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 06:07 PM

Hastings has only specialised in WW1 recently.
He has only spent about three years immersed in study of original sources to produce his acclaimed History of the lead in and start of the war.

He finds himself in agreement with all the learned professors who have studied the period for their whole working lives.

I think they know even more about it than you.
You are sure, in your absurd, ridiculous arrogance, without one day of study, that you are cleverer than all of them.
I question your judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 08:09 PM

He finds himself in agreement with all the learned professors

Now there ya go again, Keith, with the "all" bullshit. It just ain't so.

Besides, you have been conclusively proven by application of your own systematic method to be a complete idiot.

Why should anyone give credence to anything you have to say?

his acclaimed History

Acclaimed by who, exactly, other than your conclusively established idiot self?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 12:42 AM

Acclaimed by other historians who have reviewed it Greg, some posted here.

"the "all" bullshit. It just ain't so."

Name one then.
In 12 weeks of searching none of you have found one.
The bullshit is all yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 09:17 AM

But Keith, why should I give credence to anything that a proven complete idiot might have to say?

Still waiting for your comprehensive world-wide list of "all" historians, by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 09:54 AM

I don't ask for any credence Greg.
I back up everything with hard evidence.

You still can't find one single historian can you!?
You lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 12:39 PM

I back up everything with hard evidence.

Amusing. You have cited no hard evidence whatsoever - just the opinions of 2 individuals with dubious qualifications.

But what could oneexpect from an individual who by application of his own system is classified as a complete idiot.

Still waiting for that list of "all" historians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 02:55 PM

I have quoted numerous professional historians in support of my stated views.
You have not found a single one yet.
It is as if they all share my views, but none yours.
That would suggest I am right, and you are wrong.
Strongly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 06:23 PM

No, Keith, you have quoted exactly two. Apoparently in addition to neo being able tro reasun, you are unable to count. Not surprising, I suppose, for somone shown by his own system conclusively to be a idiot.

Still waiting for that list of "all" historians worldwide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 02:20 AM

Some of the historians quoted on these threads in support of my views.
Saul David, Nigel jones, Richard Holmes, Peter Hart, David Stephenson,
Fritz Fischer, Dan Todman, Gary Sheffield, Max Hastings, Malcolm Brown,
Stuart Halifax, Catriona Pennel, Margaret MacMillan, William Philpott,
Tristram Hunter.

Still waiting for that single dissenting voice Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 04:08 AM

"They call me idiot for believing renowned, professional historians "
Still hiding behind historians and what they didn't say - thought your coming to grief as badly as you have on the Christian Persecution thread might have taught you a lesson.
Told you the war wouldn't be over by Christmas
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 05:14 AM

"Hiding behind historians" if you mean learning from them.
I am guilty of that, unlike you.

And it is what they DO say.
That is why I have put up so many quotes, with links to show them in their intended context.

So, unless all the historians are wrong, you are Jim.
Don't miss the Paxman programme on Monday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Musket
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 06:44 AM

Keith's rather absurd insistence that all the "historians" he listed are saying the same as each other, and bizarrely, the same as him is interesting.

Also easy to dismiss.

I have read some of the above and let me tell you, they don't.

Ok. Can we close the thread now? I sort of promised Joe Offer I only respond never start an argument, and this thread needs no further input as I have just blown Keith out of the water.

It's nice to be a fucking genius.

I'm out of it anyway. No idea of internet availability most of the time for the next two weeks, skiing in the land of the cheese eating surrender monkeys. Although I know what to expect when I get there and why I am going, unlike my Granddad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Jan 14 - 07:56 AM

Keith's rather absurd insistence that all the "historians" he listed are saying the same as each other

Of course they are not.
I only claim that they agree on the 3 points that are my sole case here.

I have quoted numerous historians in support of my views.
None of you in 12 weeks could find a single one that does not.

Either the historians are wrong, or you are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 02:39 AM

Jeremy Paxman is not an historian, but being intelligent his views come from History, not his own prejudices and fantasies.
Before his programme on Monday, here are some of his opinions.

"Don't insult my Uncle Charlie or his comrades. Their sacrifice in WWI foiled Germany's plan to rule the world,"

"Yet we are stuck with the default conviction that the First World War was an exercise in purposelessness. That was not the prevailing view at the time. On the contrary, Lord Kitchener's appeal for volunteers in the early days of the war had been so successful that lines at recruitment offices snaked for blocks down city streets.
The great harvest of anti-war memoirs and novels did not appear until ten years after the Armistice. Throughout it all, the resolve of the British people did not weaken."

"What aggravates our ignorance is the false assumption that we do understand the First World War. We need to cast ourselves back into the minds of these men and their families, to try to inhabit the assumptions of their society rather than to replace them with our own.
How, one wonders, would the teacher explain to her students that after writing his celebrated denunciations of battle, Wilfred Owen returned to the Western Front to continue fighting and, furthermore, described himself in his last letter to his mother as 'serene'? It was, he said, 'a great life'."

"The retrospective narrative of innocent conscripts, dullard generals and boneheaded battle plans has become tiresomely familiar. It is precisely because the Great War changed so much that we understand it so little."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2428591/JEREMY-PAXMAN-Dont-insult-Uncle-Charlie-comrades.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 05:34 AM

Enjoy your holiday Musket.
Poor Paxamn.
His views "blown out of the water" by your razor-like intellect.

Paxman is on the front cover of next week's Radio Times as Kitchener.
He gives an interview reiterating his views.
You should get a copy.
There are a lot of programmes coming up you will seriously want to avoid!


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 03:23 PM

Some of the historians quoted on these threads in support of my views.

No, no, NO! - you didn't say some, you said ALL.

So let's have the complete list of all historians worldwide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 05:23 PM

Some of the historians quoted on these threads in support of my views.
Saul David, Nigel jones, Richard Holmes, Peter Hart, David Stephenson,
Fritz Fischer, Dan Todman, Gary Sheffield, Max Hastings, Malcolm Brown,
Stuart Halifax, Catriona Pennel, Margaret MacMillan, William Philpott,
Tristram Hunter. Dan Snow Ian McMillan.

There are none who disagree with me.
That is why you can not name a single one Greg.

That is why, after twelve weeks of bulshitting, not one of you can quote a single one, while I can produce that extensive list.
You lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 07:04 PM

OK, Keith, since you are congenitably unable to find these things for yourself, do read (gasp! READ??? NOT ON THE INTERNET????) Mark Bostridge's The Fateful Year and David Reynolds' The Great War.

Then we'll talk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 04:54 AM

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/13/long-shadow-great-war-david-reynolds-review

This Guardian review shows that Reynolds shares my views.
You lose Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 10:08 AM

I am adding David Reynolds to my list.
Thanks Greg.
Mark Bostridge's The Fateful Year is mainly concerned with events preceding the outbreak of war and does not address any of the issues that I have expressed a view about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 11:20 AM

Actually, Keith, the Guardian review does no such thing. But even if the REVIEW did, it wouldn't matter, since THE BOOK DOES NOT. You obviously haven't read the book.

"The Fateful Year" DOES, indeed, address a number of the issues that you have expressed a view about, which you would know had you read the book- which it is obvious you have not done, again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 11:32 AM

You clearly have not read the review or either of the books!

Just like Musket saying in his last post, "I have read some of the above and let me tell you, they don't."
If he were not lying, he would have given a name and/or a quote.
He gave neither because he has neither.

From the review,
"An intelligent assessment of the impact of the first world war on Britain that challenges its iconic status as a world of gloomy trenches, anti-war poets and wasted lives."

" During this second phase, he argues, the great war assumed its iconic status as a world of gloomy trenches, antiwar poets and wasted lives, and has, on the whole, stayed that way up to the present. He fears that the commemorations next year will be filled with more Sassoon and Owen, and melancholy evocations of life on the western front."

"Reynolds understands that the idea of the great war as trenches and poems grew in significance from the 1960s, and was soon embedded in school curricula and media representations of the conflict (unlike in continental European countries, where the war receded in popular memory due to the horrors and conflicts provoked by world war two). He is surely right to argue that this has narrowed the popular perspective. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 11:44 AM

Another review.
Times Higher Education Supplement.
"Reynolds goes further. He argues that we have "lost touch" with the Great War, in large measure because of a "peculiar British preoccupation" with the poetry rather than the history: "1914-18 has become a literary war, detached from its moorings in historical events". On this account, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon have a lot to answer for."
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/books/the-long-shadow-the-great-war-and-the-twentieth-century-by-david-reynolds/2008721.ar


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 12:06 PM

Here, historian Margaret McMillan writes about modern historians including david Reynolds.

"Now is surely the right time to challenge the accepted views. The wartime generals were not all cowards and incompetents as Alan Clark argued in his infamous The Donkeys (1961). A new generation of British historians, among others, has done much to explode such lazy generalisation and show that commanders developed both strategies and tactics that, in the end, worked. And was the war just a dreadful mistake or was it about something? At the time people on all sides thought they had a just cause. It is condescending and wrong to think they were hoodwinked."
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/7b6f0490-6347-11e3-a87d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2rWZC3uoT


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 12:57 PM

Keith, in all the texts you link us to, I cannot read any claim that the British leaders had no other option than to do what they did, or to surrender.

Whoever uses nationalist terminology, such as names of countries as if they were single persons, is a nationalist, whatever her or his qualification as a historian.

You are not only wrong in many ways, as I pointed out many times, you also "lost" in a technical sense:
  1. Among the many British Mudcatters who are happy to wave the Union flag (- one of them defends using the H word in another thread -), not a single one comes to support your theses, being so obviously indefensible.
  2. On 04 Jan 14 - 10:35 AM, you described the texts copy-pasted by Jim Carroll as "unreadable tosh". Since they are obviously easier to read than most treatises on history (beyond mere military topics), you do not understand these either.
Note that this does not mean that anybody else "wins". Other losers are those who continue this thread without anything new and precise to say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 01:51 PM

The only views I expressed were that Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that, and that the British army was not badly led.
No living historian has been shown to contradict any of the above.

Grishka, I am disappointed that you can not remember the quotes I have provided supporting the first view.
Sheffield, Todman and Hastings for a start.
If that does not jog your memory, I can soon find them again.
I have shown that several historians specifically support the view, and not one contradicts.

It is true that in the tiny pond that is Mudcat, I am a lone voice, shouted down by people who have not read any recent historical work.
In the real world, intelligent, informed people exemplified by Jeremy Paxman, know what I know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 02:28 PM

Grishka, I am disappointed that you can not remember the quotes I have provided supporting the first view.
Sorry, I should have written: among the links you posted today. Earlier on, you did mention some nationalists. Nationalists are nationalists (- I mentioned one criterion for identifying them thus -), whatever their expertise on, say, "military history". It may well be that this subject is most attractive for people with ideological views - so it was for communists, BTW.

I know that you are immune to parables, but other readers may imagine someone writing "The White Man had no option but to fight the Negro, given that Emperor Bokassa publicly threatened to dominate the world." What would be the reaction?

You also failed to react on my offers to discuss each of the many aspects of your theses individually. Some of these are undisputed, others are irrelevant, the most crucial ones contain their ideological load in their very formulations, as I amply pointed out.

I would not bother to post to this thread at all were it not for the new rise of nationalism and bellicisme in many western countries. It is in fact about possible future wars, not about past ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 03:17 PM

You can quote as many reviews as you like Keith - but until you have read the BOOKS, and can quote from THEM, you'd best shut the fuck up since you're only adding more evidence to support the already established fact that you are a complete idiot.

And despite what Grishka says, there are indeed losers by your nonsense: Fact loses, reality loses, rational thought loses, any pretense at knowing actual history (rather than sound bites and/or book reviews) loses & on & on.

Now, about that list of ALL living historians worldwide........


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 03:20 PM

... people who have not read any recent historical work.

I hope you recognize yourself in this category,fool, since all you have read- as you yourself have stated- are book reviews of books on history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 04:06 PM

Grishka, The only views I expressed were that Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that, and that the British army was not badly led.
No living historian has been shown to contradict any of the above.
I have shown copious support.

Greg, do you think the reviewers are lying about what they read in the book?
All of them?
That is your case?

You have clearly never read either book or any living historian.
I have.
That is why I have been able to quote so many, while all of you together have found nothing.

Where do you think Paxman got the same views as me?
From the historians.
Where do your views come from?
Nowhere!
Enjoy Paxman's programme tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 14 - 04:44 PM

History By Book Review. Absolutely pitiful. And ridiculous.

Since you've obviously never READ any history, its easily explained why you have a minimal familiarity with and grasp of it, and wouldn't know real history if it reared up and bit you on the arse. Hence your nonsensical claims and rationalizations of the BS you believe.

Do they have "Readers' Digest" condensed editions of great literature in Britain, or do you prefer graphic novels?

However why you are absolutely devoid of the ability to reason and think critically is anyone's guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 02:27 AM

The reviews prove that Reynolds' book supports my views.
They prove that you, Greg, have no idea what is in his book.
I have read widely on the History of this conflict.
It is a life-long interest of mine.

That is how I am able to produce names and quotes of so many historians.
It is why not one of you can produce a single one.

Some of the historians quoted on these threads in support of my views.
Saul David, Nigel Jones, Richard Holmes, Peter Hart, David Stephenson,
Fritz Fischer, Dan Todman, Gary Sheffield, Max Hastings, Malcolm Brown, Stuart Halifax, Catriona Pennel, Margaret MacMillan, William Philpott, Tristram Hunter, Dan Snow, Ian McMillan, David Renolds.

All of those quoted in contradiction of my views.
None.

Am I alone in knowing that History.
On Mudcat, yes.
In the real world, no.
Intelligent, informed people know what I know.
See Paxo tonight for instance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 04:31 AM

Open University.
"The escalation of the crisis to full-scale war was in no small measure due to Germany's war plans. But more importantly, it unleashed the war with Germany's invasion of neutral countries to the West.

The violation of Belgian neutrality in particular proved to Germany's enemies that they were fighting an aggressive and ruthless enemy. It provided the perfect propaganda vehicle for rallying the country behind an unprecedented war effort and sustained the will to fight for four long years of war.

And it provided ample proof, if proof were needed, for the victors to allocate responsibility for the outbreak of the war to Germany and its allies."
http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/world-history/the-schlieffen-plan


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 10:00 AM



Yup- book reviews, internet blogs and graphic novels.

Come back after you've actually read the books you prattle on about.

Until then, rave on, fool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 10:58 AM

You have not read those two books either Greg.
Reynolds supports my views.
The reviews clearly show that.
(Unless you can provide any quote from either book that says different Greg? Ha Ha!)

"An intelligent assessment of the impact of the first world war on Britain that challenges its iconic status as a world of gloomy trenches, anti-war poets and wasted lives."

" During this second phase, he argues, the great war assumed its iconic status as a world of gloomy trenches, antiwar poets and wasted lives, and has, on the whole, stayed that way up to the present. He fears that the commemorations next year will be filled with more Sassoon and Owen, and melancholy evocations of life on the western front."

"Reynolds understands that the idea of the great war as trenches and poems grew in significance from the 1960s, and was soon embedded in school curricula and media representations of the conflict (unlike in continental European countries, where the war receded in popular memory due to the horrors and conflicts provoked by world war two). He is surely right to argue that this has narrowed the popular perspective. "

"Reynolds goes further. He argues that we have "lost touch" with the Great War, in large measure because of a "peculiar British preoccupation" with the poetry rather than the history: "1914-18 has become a literary war, detached from its moorings in historical events". On this account, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon have a lot to answer for."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 11:01 AM

Get a room you two :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 11:11 AM

Relax, Dave - This pig ain't ever going to learn to sing (or to read history for that matter), and he gives stupidity and bloody-mindedness a bad name. I think his idiocy is apparent tyo all & sundry, & I've tired myself out. He can continue to play with himself if he so desires;
I'm outa this one. ;>)

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 03:38 AM

"Bloody minded"
"Idiocy"
That is what you call reading History and quoting it to the uninformed?

I am glad you are going.
Your only contribution was a link to a library(!) and to name two books you had not read and which did not contradict me.
One of them actually supported me.

The rest of your posts just claimed repetitively that there are dissenting historians, but never actually identifying one.

Not one single one in 12 weeks.
Good job Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 04:13 AM

I take it you all watched the magnificently presented first programme on the First World War on BBC " last night.
How the war was a struggle for European domination by the Imperial powers, instigated by Germany breaking ranks by overstepping the mark.
The gross miscalculation by the British military in sending an unprepared and undersized army into Belgium to be slaughtered, defeated humiliated and disheartened at Mons.
The realisation that the war could not be won without a huge campaign to recruit volunteers, so they put the fanatical Kitchener in charge - he set about persuading those recruits that they "shouldn't drink alchohol or consort with members of the opposite sex" while they were in Europe.
The recruiting campaign was, as has been previously stated, based on moral blackmail, appeals to 'manhood, and 'virility' racist depiction of the German people as "blood-thirst beasts" - "Germany should be wiped off the face of the world".
The atrocities that were undoubtedly taking place in Belgium were grossly exaggerated to back up this picture of Germans - figures inflated and and incidents distorted.
One story put about was of the British nurse working in a Belgian hospital was reported to have been "raped repeatedly, had one of her breasts cut off, then bayonetted" - he was, in fact, safe and sound and unharmed at home in Hartlepool "with both breasts intact" when the reports were published.
Part of the recruiting campaign was "to raise money to pay for petticoats for the cowardly men who didn't enlist".
The misleading poster campaign was aimed at putting across the message that volunteers were fighting for "God, King and Country".   
Protests had taken place in Britain claiming that the British people had no argument with the German workers.
The British people were persuaded otherwise by exaggerated claims of imminent invasion, based on the bombardment of Scarborough.
The coastal authorities set about warning farmers that this threat was real by demanding that farmers on the coast should move all their livestock inland, and those that could not be moved should be maimed "so they would be of no use to the enemy".
The programme covered the recruiting drive bt Horatio Bottomly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Bottomley

A declared bankrupt, he became a millionaire overnight with lurid shows persuading the nation of the monstrous nature of the German people, profiteering by sending young men to their deaths with grotesque theatrical productions based on a racist depiction of the German people
He became a member of Parliament and was eventually imprisoned for fraud theft and false accounting.
Rivetting viewing.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 04:51 AM

Incidentally - the expeditionary force that was sent ill prepared and undermanned to defeat at Mons went in the full understanding that it would be a short war - a formality that "would be all over by Christmas" (quoted in the programme).
It should be remembered that Keith's historian Gary Sheffield is a leading advisor to the BBC series.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 06:01 AM

So, far from our government wanting war, we were completely unprepared to even hold the German armies.
They had an army 2 millions. Ours a few thousand.
"This contemptible little army" (The Kaiser)

Far from wanting it, the prime minister and senior ministers, at different times, cried like babies at the prospect of it.

The authorities were overwhelmed with volunteers.
Far more than they could cope with.
The greatest number came forward after the chaotic retreat before overwhelming German numbers, when there was no longer any question of a quick victory, but every prospect of a crushing defeat.

There was no enthusiasm.
Just an acceptance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 06:32 AM

Under the terms of the treaty known as the Entente Cordiale (1904) the size of the British Force to be sent to France in the event of hostilities breaking out was set.

Undermanned:
Naturally the British Force was undermanned in comparison to its continental equivalent, the British force comprised entirely of volunteers the larger European Armies were conscripted.

Unprepared:
The British Army were taught some pretty painful lessons in South Africa, but learn them they did. By 1914 when it came to infantrymen skilled in "fire-and-manoeuvre" tactics they were second to none, and although small in number they were perfectly capable of making their presence felt. According to the Historian George Gordon - " The BEF was probably the best trained and most experienced of the European armies of 1914"

Ever heard of something called the "Mad Minute"? It was an individual firing drill. The British Army training of the day emphasised rapid marksmanship and the average British soldier was able to hit a man-sized target fifteen times a minute, at a range of 300 yards with his rifle firing over 36 rounds per minute. This ability to generate a high volume of accurate rifle-fire astounded German troops who had to face it and it ended up playing an important role in the BEF's battles of 1914.

Battle of Mons 23rd August 1914:
German Forces - 160,000 men supported by 600 guns
German casualties – 5,000 men
British Forces - 80,000 men supported by 300 guns
British casualties – 1,638 men
Result of the engagement was that even although outnumbered two-to-one in terms of manpower and artillery the German advance was successfully and crucially delayed. At the end of the engagement the BEF far from being destroyed was still a force in being.

Does that sound like humiliating defeat?

Battle of Le Cateau 26th August 1914. - Another successful holding action halted the German advance for a further five days, the BEF still continued to exist, it continued to manoeuvre and it was ready in all respects to play its part in the Battle of the Marne which stopped the German Schlieffen Plan in its tracks.

First battle of the Marne 5th – 12th September 1914 - Decisive Allied Victory
Allied Forces – 1,071,000 men (39 French Divisions + 6 British Divisions)
German Forces – 1,485,000 men (27 German Divisions)
Allied Losses – 81,700
German Losses – 220,000

All over by Christmas - Was a popular misconception held by all sides, it was not the official view held by any of the combatant powers. The popular misconception was fueled by recent experience of wars involving industrial powers dating back to the Franco-Prussian War all of which were of short duration so to the general public why should this one be any different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 06:32 AM

You've had the total drift of the programme - not carefully selected snippets that have nothing whatever to do with its contents.
You have taken a couple of quotes that in no way contradict the fiasco into Belgium, the recruiting, the reasons they joined - nothing
C'mon - you're not even trying to justify you'r jingoism - give us a bit of a competition!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 06:40 AM

As far as I can see and read in this exchange and what it has generated into - a mere "mobbing" exercise - in terms of debate Keith is wiping the floor with the lot of you as regards reasoning, fact and source material.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 06:45 AM

About 9 minutes in, Paxman to camera.

"Most people seemed to have accepted that the war had to be fought.
To honour treaties. To defend the empire. To protect Britain.
And, what else were they supposed to do?
To sit back and watch as Germany amassed an empire from Russia to the shores of the English Channel?
Now war had broken out, almost everyone backed it.
Most trade unions suspended strikes, which had been common."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 08:39 AM

I have it recorded, ready to watch. I think it is available on iplayer as well for those who are interested.

Just as an aside I find it fascinating that people will view the same program and get entirely different things from it. The show remains the same but the interpretations are different. Pretty much like peoples opinions of the same history sources :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 08:43 AM

Well, even from this height, Keith still sounds like an absurd soft cunt and now Teribus is sucked in by the concerted effort to rewrite historical fact.

Rather disgraceful really.

I'll stick to the accounts of those who were there. I'll stick to the appalling statistics. I'll stick to the jingoistic attempts to sow seeds in heads. I'll believe we executed our own soldiers for not being up to expecting the truth when they got there.

Enjoy your revision. It comes just in time for celebrating 1914. Let's face it, if the truth hadn't been sanitised over the last couple of years, we would have to commemorate political failure and that would never do.

Voltaire 1. Fools 0.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 08:56 AM

On the basis of the information they had been fed by Government propaganda - you have been given precise details of what that iformation was and how it was delivered
Your star witness (Gary Sheffield) appears to have blown up in your face, he has ether been misrepresented by you (almost certain), has changed his mind or has not done his job properly.
You have yet to comment on the fiasco of sending an unprepared and inadequately sized army in to be wiped out at Mons.
The programme reported that the divine intervention of The Angel of Mons was a result of the men being traumatised by their defeat.
"a mere "mobbing" exercise"
The Chocolate Soldier rides again.
What you are trying to say is that Keith is the sole jingoist contributing to this debate, he started that way and has had no support whatever - he remains in the minority of one (you don't count - you've stayed back at headquarters while Keith has been conducting his one-man campaign - just like the Generals, senior officers and politicians.
The facts presented in last night's programme,( on the competence of the military leadership, the morale among soldiers, the reasons why men joined, the information they were given, their being forced and tricked into joining..... cut the legs completely from under every single one of his arguments
Your soemwhat late interventio here is a little like the lads who went in after the Little Big Horn Massacre to pick up the pieces.
Dis-miss Corporal Terminus
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 09:53 AM

You have yet to comment on the fiasco of sending an unprepared and inadequately sized army in to be wiped out at Mons

That was all the army we had when the German onslaught began.
We were unprepared for the war, and never wanted it.
They were well equipped and well trained, and eventually stopped the German advance very effectively as Terribus said.


Dave, I am sure you will agree that the message of last night's programme was that Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, and the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that.

That is what Gary Sheffield and other historians have said, and it is what I have said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 10:00 AM

Musket,
I'll stick to the accounts of those who were there.

So will I.
So do the historians.
But, not just a narrow, unrepresentative selection that appealed to all those leftie intellectuals of the 1930s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 11:24 AM

"That was all the army we had when the German onslaught began."
They should never have been sent unprepared as they were - it was simple slaughter coupled with humiliation.
"That is what Gary Sheffield and other historians have said, and it is what I have said."
No he didn't - none of them did.
They have agreed that there was no threat of invasion of Britain and with a litle preparation they could have made an immediate difference in Europe - "Lions led by Donkeys" as the man said.
One historian actual entitled her book "Sleepwalking into War" and this is exactly how last night's programme described Britain's entry into the war
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 12:03 PM

Sheffield and others certainly said that, and I will happily post it up again.

No threat of invasion of Britain?
I supplied copious historical evidence that the threat was very real, as did the programme last night.
Perhaps you fell asleep through that bit Jim.

They should never have been sent unprepared as they were

No alternative Jim.
France and Belgium would have fallen and we would have been next.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 12:15 PM

Not seen it yet Keith so I cannot comment.

Cheers

D


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 12:21 PM

I know Dave.
Just priming you.
Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 03:05 PM

"I supplied copious historical evidence that the threat was very real, as did the programme last night."
No it didn't - it produced a single example of the bombardment of Scarborough came after Britain had 'walked blindfolded and unprepared' and was defeated at Mons'
It was on the cards that you would attempt to snatch some sort of "victory' out of last night's conclusive contradiction of your views - don't you always?
All the points in my description are accurate - show us which are not, stop side-stepping them.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 12:55 AM

The programme showed that the first trenches were dug around our coast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 02:33 AM

c


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 02:37 AM

11 minutes in. Paxman voice over,
"The British High Command believed that Britain might be invaded at any time."
" the first British trenches were not in Belgium or France, they were here in England."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 03:32 AM

Keith
Your arguments here have now become little more than a diversion away from the facts that your whole argument throughout this thread has been sunk without trace by the first BBC programme
Who gives a toss about the inevitability of the war - that has yet to be discussed - it was touched on briefly, but the first statement that was made was that it was a struggle for the domination of Europe by two Imperial powers - full stop - not the jingoistic "Gallant little Belgium" line you were pumping out.
The Mons fiasco was enough to show how well it was conducted and all the Jeremy Paxman quotes in the world don't alter that one iota.
Your claims on the reasons men joined up was scuppered with the way the recruiting campaign was carried out - the appeal for "petticoats for the cowards" - "King and country", "virility", "the savage Hun" as depicted by war profiteer Bottomly's racist shows, bayoneted, breastless women.... all that and more showed the cynicism and dishonest manner in which the men were recruited - they never got round to the white feathers - but that'll come, I have no doubt.
How well it managed to convince the poor buggers who joined up was shown by the recruits who went off to pick blackberries instead of drilling and training.
You called me a liar for inventing the "it'll all over by Christmas" slogan, yet there it was - the poor sods who went off to be slaughtered at Mons setting off for a "short war that'll be all over by Christmas"   
You described the old soldier who told is of his experiences in Europe as "a liar" because his account didn't coincide with your gung-ho image of life in the trenches
We have yet to see if Sassoon Owen, Liddel Harte.... and all the other veterans you have also called "liars and romantics", were also telling the truth in their accounts of their experiences.
Your appalling attempts to sell what has long been recognised as the barbaric death-throes of a dying Empire, as a glorious struggle for freedom against tyranny appears to have fallen at the first fence.
I have no doubt that your behaviour from here on will amount to little more than a face saving exercise on your part to justify the jingoistic crap you have been pumping out over the last few months.
Your reputation here will no doubt take precedence over the memories of the millions who died so that Britannia could continue to "Rule the waves".
You get more and more squalid with every posting you make.
But then again, maybe we're all wrong - maybe you are as "infallible" on World War One as you claim to be on religious persecution and we "swine you cast your pearls before" are all the bunch of idiots you constantly tell us we are.
And all this without ever reading a book - (maybe the Angel of Mons has come back down and touched you with her wand of divinity.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 03:47 AM

Jim, I only put forward 3 views.
Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught, the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that, and that the British army was not badly led.

The programme addressed the first two, and was in agreement.
No surprise, because I put up Paxman's expressed views before the programme aired.

"You called me a liar for inventing the "it'll all over by Christmas" slogan"
Of course you did not invent it!
I showed that one of your own sources said it had no impact, and it certainly did not come from government.

I did not call Sassoon et al liars.
I said that their views were not typical or in anyway representative of the majority.
(Paxman said the same in interviews.)

And Jim, I have been reading books about this war all my life.
You clearly have read nothing published less than 30 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 05:14 AM

It can certainly not be said that Britain (government, military, and newspapers etc.) went to war unprepared. For more than a decade, everybody was talking about it, whether approvingly or not. The Entente and the treaties with Russia and Belgium were obvious preparations.

Either side felt they would win, and hoped for the other side to realize that and cave in. In the meantime, the propaganda machines went hot. According to French folklore, Belgium was prepared as a propaganda trap - German soldiers stepped on it with glee, even more so than anticipated.

In other words: the war started in the 190x years, the British government being among the major actors, with plenty of options. By 1914, the die was cast, and initially things went according to plan. Withdrawal in 1914 would have been illogical from the government point of view.

"Unprepared" may be true for those particular troops, in the sense that saving human lives was not the priority we would want it to be nowadays.

In my opinion, "sleepwalking" can only be diagnosed for the continuation of the war in 1915. (Clark was mainly concerned with the Balkan theatre, a different topic.) They had built racing cars and forgotten the brakes. Vabanque gambling, I would call it.

Dave the Gnome, 28 Jan 14 - 08:39 AM, is quite right that the dispute is not so much about facts than about our evaluations from the present-day point of view. Analogies have been offered in the media, to Iran, China, Russia, Syria ... Some lessons have been learned, but never enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 05:39 AM

I'd love to know how Mons could be considered as a defeat, when outnumbered two to one the BEF managed to inflict casualties on the Germans of ~2.5 to 1, delayed the German advance, prevented the outflanking of the French Fifth Army while managing to withdraw in good order to re-engage the enemy two days later, then decisively defeat him while fighting alongside their French Allies two weeks later on the Marne?

But there again what would you expect from someone who on another topic claimed to know better the details of a meeting than someone who actually took part in the meeting in question. No wonder Christmas that you think you know more about the subject than both Jeremy Paxman and the consulting historian for the series Gary Sheffield, I mean you even claim to know more about what they meant - Do you really honestly claim to know what a person means better than they do themselves? If so your arrogance is astounding!!!

" it was a struggle for the domination of Europe by two Imperial powers - full stop" Quoth Christmas

What Imperial Powers are you referring to Christmas? Certainly could not have been Great Britain looking at it logically could it? I mean stack up the facts:

The Imperial German Army - It's peacetime Army numbered 500,000 and it raised an Army of 13,000,000 men in the First World War

The Imperial Austro-Hungarian Army - Peacetime Army of 450,000 and a mobilised field army of 3,350,000 in 1914.


The British Army of the day numbered at most 100,000 men - Logically hardly the sort of number you need to take on the above.

By the way Christmas care to enlighten us as to any period in the history of Great Britain when it has ever shown any interest in the "domination of Europe"?? I would have thought that if it ever had (Which it didn't) then 1815 would have been a good opportunity, but oh yeah, of course, how silly of me even at that time Britain didn't have a big enough Army.

How did Britain find itself involved in hostilities? Treaty obligations Christmas to both France and Russia and to Belgium. National interests they did not want to see Imperial Germany exercising hegemony over Europe and see Germany, Britain's greatest rival in terms of naval might with naval bases less than 100 miles from London. Seems logical and reasonable to me.

As far as records show in 1914 there was no need for any recruiting campaigns, the young men of all the combatant nations were rushing to join, simple matter of record Christmas. Great Britain did not have to introduce conscription until late 1916.

"Over before Christmas" - Nothing to do with the Government (Who knew a damned sight better) or the Army - just a popular misconception believed by the populations of all the combatant powers, not just that of the UK.

"White Feathers" - Nothing to do with the Government or the Army - IIRC it was instigated by civilians and pushed into prominence by the founders of the Movement for Women's Suffrage and they encouraged their members to distribute them to young men in civilian clothes. By the way it was the Women's Suffrage Movement that was advocating universal conscription in 1914, so it would appear that they were certainly all for the war, wouldn't it? The Government and the authorities in charge of the armed forces and the civil service were against the practice and were forced to bring out their own lapel badges to indicate that their personnel were engaged in the war effort although not in uniform.

"The Angel of Mons" - Pure fiction Google "Angels of Mons" and "Arthur Machen and The Bowmen". If you believe in such as the Angel of Mons, Christmas please give my regards and best wishes to Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 05:42 AM

There is no evidence that the British government wanted the war, and plenty that they did not.
The programme showed that the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers were distraught at the prospect.
If they wanted war, they might be expected to provide an army capable of fighting it.

The fact is that Britain was unprepared for the war because it neither expected it nor wanted it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 06:29 AM

For Musket:

1: I'll stick to the accounts of those who were there.
Will you give equal credence to those that were there and actually didn't mind it? Or are you only prepared to stick to those accounts that suit your own bias?

Here's Dan Snow's take on the myth that everyone hated it:
" Like any war, it all comes down to luck. You may witness unimaginable horrors that leave you mentally and physically incapacitated for life, or get away without a scrape.
Many soldiers enjoyed the First World War. If they were lucky they would avoid a big offensive, and much of the time, conditions might be better than at home.
For the British there was meat every day – a rare luxury back home – cigarettes, tea and rum, part of a daily diet of over 4,000 calories.
Absentee rates due to sickness, an important barometer of morale were, remarkably, hardly above peacetime rates. Many young men enjoyed the guaranteed pay, intense comradeship, responsibility and a much greater sexual freedom."



2: "I'll stick to the appalling statistics."
I have given you the statistics of the battles that first blunted the German push through Belgium and into Northern France and I have given you the statistics relating to the Battle that stopped the Schlieffen Plan in its tracks which ended all hope of a quick and easy war as far as anybody with even a whit of knowledge was concerned. Do the results of those engagements indicate failure and defeat to you? Strange if they do, because the side you and Christmas seem to regard as having been defeated actually won the war - they would not have done had the German attack not been halted - Also please note that in all three battles the Germans always had numerical superiority (Another statistic for you to stick by)

3: "I'll stick to the jingoistic attempts to sow seeds in heads.
You are welcome to do so, but don't attribute nonsense like "Home before Christmas" and "White feathers" to any official Government policy or statement. All sides used propaganda and we were no worse than any other.

4:   "I'll believe we executed our own soldiers for not being up to expecting the truth when they got there."
And whilst you are exercising that belief, have the honesty to put that into perspective (346 men executed in an army that numbered over 4,000,000 - a minute fraction of the numbers involved - true?). Also in your eagerness to cling to this fact also state the fact in the interests of objectivity and accuracy that for every ten men sentenced to death nine had their sentences commuted – so in all honesty, as borne out by those statistics, you know, the ones that you claim that you are prepared to stick by, we weren't really all that keen on executing our own were we?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 06:41 AM

"Jim, I only put forward 3 views."
You are lying
You have claimed 80 per cent of the soldiers knew what they were fighting for - 'gallant little Belgium' - to oppose tyrany... and all the other bullshit.
You aclaimed that the fourteen reasons I drew from an official historically copiled lists of the reasons for joining as inventions on my part
You have called those who actually joined up as "liars and romantics"
You have rejected long accepted understanding of WW1 -the facts we were taught in school as "revisionist and romantic nonsense" and "ultra leftie propaganda".
Your jingoistic war has been fought on all fronts, now you have been defeated by one single programme, you have retreated back into your trench and are firing that targets that haven't even been put up yet.   
You have denied established history and have ridiculed the historians and the soldiers who fought the war by dismissing their life -long researches and their personal experiences out of hand.
You have surrounded yourself with a bunch of 'historians' (not forgetting your tabloid journalist - of course) who in the main haven't even said what you claim they said.
A war fought with only a handful of carefully selected out-of-context cut-'n-pastes was bound to end up as it has - in complete anihilation.
Hands up Tommy - for you the war is over.
"I'd love to know how Mons could be considered as a defeat"
Ask the programme makers - you pontificating little bar-room brigadier you.
"saving human lives was not the priority"
Amen to that - it was always a struggle for Empire.
If human life had ever been a factor in the thinking of them upstairs they would have raised their voices in protest at Belgium's slaughter of 10 million Congolese up to five years earlier - not a whisper then or now.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 08:00 AM

Jim, I do not lie.

I only made those 3 claims.
I claimed a majority, not specifically 80%
your list of reasons were all valid, but not the reason most volunteered.
"You have rejected long accepted understanding of WW1 -the facts we were taught in school"
That one is true.
Knowledge has moved on.
I derived my views by reading History.
All my views come from historians.
There are none now who do not believe what I believe.
That is why none of you have found one in 13 weeks of trying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 08:09 AM

The Guardian on the programme.
"By showing both how the fear of invasion was so great that the first trenches were dug along the cliffs of Dover and how towns in the north-east were shelled with a significant loss of life by the German navy, Paxman made it plain that the conflict wasn't confined to mainland Europe. The perception that it might spread to Britain itself was very real in the early years of the war."

"The causes of the war are reduced in a single sentence to, "The Kaiser wants to invade Russia and France and hasn't responded to Britain's 11pm deadline", with stiff-upper lipped British politicians sobbing openly at the inevitability and enormity of the catastrophe to come."
http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/jan/28/britains-great-war-jeremy-paxman-food-drink


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 09:23 AM

You are evading the issue
You have been rumbled or the jingoistic pratt that you are - everybody is aware of that so it doesn't matter anyway other than to underline that fact
Pip-pip
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 10:01 AM

Musket, I was rather intrigued by this one:

"I'll believe we executed our own soldiers for not being up to expecting the truth when they got there."

Now what offence was that? - i.e. "not being up to expecting the truth when they got there."

What is this truth that are you referring to?

That their training did not make them aware that once they got there that the enemy would attack them or that they would be ordered to attack the enemy?

That their training did not make them aware that once they got there that the enemy would be making every attempt to kill them with any and every weapon that he could bring to bear?

That the enemy had artillery?

That explosions were loud and at times deadly?

That it might rain?

That living "in the field" might be uncomfortable?

That they would have to spend days in the front line trenches and that they would in the normal course of things be rotated out of that duty every three days and that they would not spend more than ten days in the front line area?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 10:01 AM

There is no evidence that the British government wanted the war, and plenty that they did not.
Well done, Keith, to write "the British government" as opposed to "Britain". Of course, they would have preferred the other side to cave in, but they (and their newly won French allies) gambled with the risk.
If they wanted war, they might be expected to provide an army capable of fighting it.
Quite the opposite: since everybody had known for years in advance that war was imminent and the British government had committed itself to join, they would have to prepare for it even if they did not want it. The army was correctly judged sufficient for victory; the loss of life was part of the calculation, as Teribus described. Same in France.

And yes, some politicians in all countries had analyzed the situation of 1914 correctly, and already knew that the idea of a quick war was a miscalculation, but it seemed too late to stop it, for two reasons:
  1. Others did want the war even if it lasted as long and took as many lives as it did (think of arms manufacturers, military leaders etc.),
  2. On both sides, the propaganda had done its effect and could not be undone without loss of face. (Note that this is not just my guess, but statements to that effect are reported from France and Germany alike; your "distraught" Ministers point to the same direction.)
I do not know who exactly is to blame, for warmongering or for sleepwalking, and I do not consider this the most important question now that the conflict is over.

The main lesson to learn for us is to resist all nationalist propaganda. The second lesson is that "we did not want that war" is only credible if backed by an evidently fair offer of peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 10:32 AM

known for years in advance that war was imminent and the British government had committed itself to join,
I have seen no evidence for that.
Do you have any?

Jim yesterday.
"They have agreed that there was no threat of invasion of Britain"
Jim today
"everybody is aware of that so it doesn't matter anyway"

From that Guardian review.
"Paxman's version of history is one that neither Gove nor Cameron could have any objection to being used as part of the national curriculum. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 11:41 AM

known for years in advance that war was imminent and the British government had committed itself to join,
I have seen no evidence for that.
Do you have any?
Known in advance: in France and in Germany the newspapers were full of it (by 1910), so at least British intelligence must have heard about it. Imminent does not mean unavoidable, but probable enough that any government failing to prepare for it would have been guilty of negligence and stupidity. However, too ostentatious a mobilization would have destroyed the propaganda story. (Again it must be stressed that many Germans and Austrians believed as honestly as Britons did that war was being forced on them by the enemy, respectively. Without that propaganda, recruiting would have been much more difficult. Only the tsar thought he could do without much propaganda because of his autocratic power - an error, as we know.)

Committed itself to join: by the treaties, as you (Keith) never fail to mention.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,keith A
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 03:45 PM

So, no evidence that the British government had committed itself to join.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 05:43 PM

Teribus:
All sides used propaganda and we were no worse than any other.
Exactly, except for the pronoun "we", assuming that nobody originally responsible posts to Mudcat from the Hereafter. For reasons to be collectively ashamed, we may well stick to the politicians currently in power and elected by ourselves. Reasons to be collectively proud are even harder to find (- but some do exist!).

Keith, you may note that the Schlieffen plan was published in 1905/06, for the world to read. As you never fail to mention, it posed a case for the Treaty of London. Of course, such "scraps of paper" would often be ignored, but in this case it came handy, and the French government had no doubt about that - guess why.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 02:51 AM

Grishke, the Schliefen Plan was never "published for the world to read" !!

It was secret and the allies had no knowledge of it.
The French fell into the trap set for them in the centre, and did not expect the small British force to be heavily engaged.
You should read your own link.

You would also have seen this (my italics)

"Germany hoped that Britain, which was wary of making alliances due to its wish to remain neutral, would not honour the treaty and would not rush to the aid of Belgium. To Germany's dismay, Britain kept to the terms of the treaty and responded to German aggression against Belgium by declaring war on Germany. When Edward Goschen, the British ambassador to Germany, informed German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg that the two countries were now at war, Bethmann-Hollweg famously replied, "The Britons will go to war for a mere scrap of paper?"

If Britain wanted war, it would have prepared an army big enough not to be overwhelmed in the first week, which is what very nearly happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 02:59 AM

Ah but Grishka there are those here trying to put forward the argument that the British Government of the day in 1914 put forward and pushed "propaganda" that in fact they had absolutely no hand in, i.e making promises to troops that "It will all be over by Christmas" or that they would "All be Home by Christmas" and the handing out of "White Feathers".

In this discussion Keith A has from the outset argued and maintained three points:

1: That Britain had no choice but to resist the German onslaught;

2: That the British people overwhelmingly understood and accepted that;

3: That the British army was not badly led.

As far as 1 above goes diplomatic efforts were made in an attempt to create a balance of power through treaties that would dissuade would be belligerent powers from fighting - that failed as Germany falsely believed that they could achieve the swift victory it needed. Exactly the same thing was tried in the run up to the Second World War, only on that occasion the Germans pre-empted the British and the French by signing the Ribbentrop-Molotov Non-Aggression Pact on the 23rd August 1939.

As far as 2 above is concerned Britain was bound to honour her treaty obligations and the British people did overwhelmingly accept and understand that and I have seen and read much that supports that contention and have not seen anything that contradicts it.

As far as 3 above goes the evidence, the statistics and the end result massively refutes any charge that they were badly led, by 1918 they were the only army still vigorously attacking the enemy and that army was the one that had started the war with only 80,000 men, ending it after some brutally harsh campaigns and bloody engagements with over 4,000,000 men. Had they been badly led that would simply have not been possible.

"Keith, you may note that the Schlieffen plan was published in 1905/06, for the world to read."

I would love to know in what publication the world could have read the Schlieffen Plan in 1905 or in 1906. Do you honestly believe that the Military General Staffs of major powers publish their war plans for all to read Grishka? It would be a very novel world if that were the case, but I would think that on the contrary they would prize them and keep them as secret as possible just in case they had to use them. However, I would be delighted if you could furnish us with any substantive evidence to support that claim of yours, but I will not hold my breath as my expectation of you being able to provide such is extremely low.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 11:15 AM

Grishke, the Schliefen Plan was never "published for the world to read" !!
Correction: its approximate content was published and discussed by German and French newspapers. In fact, Britain entering was anticipated and welcomed by many German voices. The famous "scrap" quotation is normally read in the sense of "Of course, that old treaty cannot be the real reason for Britain to enter the war!" - an opinion shared by most. Some say it was about "the kaiser's fleet" - I am not quite convinced; anyway, it must have been planned in "entente cordiale", also with Russian and Belgian diplomacy.

There were surprises on both sides in 1914, but nobody seriously expected Germany to spare Belgium because of its neutrality.

I never wrote that "Britain" wanted war; I wrote that all the governments involved gambled with the option of war, being sufficiently confident to win it, but preferring the other side to cave in. Many of the preparations may have been half-hearted and ill organized (and particularly not aimed at minimizing losses of life - the main point of criticism inside Britain), but preparations they were.

The reason why I offer links to Wikipedia is for elementary facts only. I read the French, English, and German Wikis, all offering different interpretations, and different ancient half-truths.

"Balance of power" (/neutrality) actually meant: let all the others be less powerful than ourselves, and busy with each other. A stable peace is quite a different thing. The efforts for the latter goal were definitely not serious enough to be praised from the present-day point of view. That is the crucial point. I am not arguing about the past, but about Iran etc. of nowadays.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 11:23 AM

Correction: its approximate content was published and discussed by German and French newspapers

I have never heard of any such thing.
Can you show us something please?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 12:02 PM

I have never heard of any such thing.
Can you show us something please?
I heard it from French teachers who claimed to have read those newspapers with their own eyes, and from many other sources. Actually the idea of Germans invading France via Belgium and Luxembourg was obvious enough, so that the rest of the world would have been incredibly stupid not to have it. The tactical details are not important for my argument. (Rumours on the net actually claim that these were known to the French military as well.)

If anybody seriously challenges this statement, I can google for support, though I do not know which authority will convince whom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 12:10 PM

I heard it from French teachers

That would REALLY stand up in court wouldn't it!

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 02:32 PM

Dave, we are not in court, and I am not posing as a historian. All I write about facts of history is FWIW, and I often would not know how to find the primary sources even if I had to - which I have not. The main dispute is not about facts at all, as you noticed before.

Does anybody here seriously believe that the German invasion of Belgium came as a total surprise (- the fact, not the exact time and tactics)? If it was expected by the French (government, military, and public), but not by the British, would that not be terribly stupid of the latter, far below "donkeys"?

The media will refresh our schooldays memories in the course of this year. I expect that the "kaiser's fleet theory" will once more be discussed, which occurs in the context of "balance of power policy" in the sense I described above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Monique
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 02:42 PM

The French general staff knew about the Schlieffen plan since April 20th 1904: a German officer sold them the plan. The Belgian government knew about it too Link, note 34 (the whole text is in French)


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 03:13 PM

In Europe as in Britain there was much speculation about how a war might start and how it would develop.
It was just speculation and nothing to do with the totally secret plan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 03:26 PM

If the plan was known, why was none of it anticipated?

"the supposed 'leak' occurred in 1904, at least a year before Schlieffen finished the famous version of his plan. Samuel R Williamson writes in The Politics Of Grand Strategy that :

The story behind French acquisition of these German documents in the winter of 1903-1904 remains confused and uncertain. In 1932 Maurice Paléologue, who had been one of Delcassé's assistants in 1904, asserted that a disillusioned German staff officer had betrayed the outlines of the Schlieffen Plan to French agents. Subsequent studies have cast grave doubts about Paléologue's accuracy both on the alleged betrayal and in his summary of the new information. Certainly there was no question, as the French diplomat implied, of the Schlieffen Plan having been revealed, since the Plan did not go into effect until late 1905."
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=187445&start=375


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jan 14 - 06:19 PM

Thanks, Monique, for the helpful link to official French resources, which can hardly be suspected to spread lies to denigrate the allied war plans (... even if the current president is a "socialist").

To those who cannot read French, I recommend entering the paragraph starting with "Du 6 au 8 septembre 1906" to Google-Translate. The full scenario already planned in 1906, secretly, but with enthusiasm both from British and French generals.

The general public was not quite as well-informed, but could guess a lot - so did the German leaders. All leaders did what they had planned for years in advance - whether or not they welcomed it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 01:00 AM

Not an official source.
No source is given for the claim.
If the plan was known, why were the allies taken by surprise by the direction of the German thrusts, and why did the French fall into the trap in the centre?
The plan very clearly was not known.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Teribus
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 02:05 AM

The plan to attack through Belgium was obvious??

Was it?

Now IF the details of the Schlieffen Plan had been known to the French in 1904, 1905 or even 1906, then the French must have been rather mystified by what the Germans eventually ended up doing in the late summer of 1914 wouldn't they?

Now IF the details of the Schlieffen Plan had been known to the French in 1904, 1905 or even 1906, then the disposition of the French Armies would have been drastically different to those confronted by the Germans in the late summer of 1914 wouldn't they?

WHY??

Because Moltke changed and modified the Schlieffen Plan, and those modifications severely constrained the attack and reduced its chances of success. The Schlieffen Plan as envisaged by Schlieffen in it's original form looked more like the German attack in the West of 1940.

Schlieffen's dying words apparently were, "Remember keep the right strong." i.e. mass your strength on the right flank of the attack. Schlieffen looked at attacking France through both Holland and Belgium.

Schlieffen's original Plan required ALL of Germany's Army to execute the attack. The "eastern front" according to his thinking could be held initially by the Austro-Hungarians because of the time it would take Russia to mobilise it's forces. Moltke was not of the same opinion and took troops originally assigned to the German right flank and stationed them in the East - The Russian mobilisation eventually turned out to be far quicker than anticipated.

Schlieffen wanted to go through both Holland and Belgium because only going through Belgium would cause a bottleneck for the attacking force and severely limit the flow of supplies and reinforcements to the front (Take a look at the limited front afforded by the German Belgian Border). Railway links were far better between Germany and Holland and far better "North-South" between France and Holland in Belgium the closer you got to the coast (Paris-Brussels-Antwerp-Rotterdam). By sweeping down the coast it would effectively cut off the shortest line of communication between France and Great Britain forcing the British to concentrate a disproportionate number of ships from the Home Fleet in the southern part of the North Sea in a defensive posture thus weakening any blockade of Germany.

In the event the German right was not strong enough, the Belgians resisted and suffered the terror the Germans unleashed against the civilian population in their path, but they delayed the advance and further constricted the flow of supplies (Vital to an attacking army on the move). In meeting the six divisions of the BEF the German Army met the only force in the world at the time that were fully capable of fighting a withdrawal against overwhelming odds ("Fire-and Manouevre" tactics work equally well in both attack and retreat) in such a manner as to remain intact as an effective fighting force whilst inflicting serious casualties on that attacking force - again the German ability to bring up reinforcements delayed their progress and if anything the Schlieffen Plan required speed to be successful.

Delayed at both Mons and Le Cateau they were finally stopped at the Marne.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 03:17 AM

All I write about facts of history

I heard it from French teachers

That just about takes the biscuit. How can all you write about be fact when just a few posts earlier you happily admitted that you were relying on hearsay?

Is it just me or do others find that this thread has become really weird?

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Monique
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 03:37 AM

From the "non official source":
>>The Revue historique des armées, the magazine of the Ministry of Defence, is a quarterly specialist technical periodical and the SHD's communication vehicle. It was founded in 1945 and received the Académie française award in 1954 and the Académie des sciences morales et politiques award in 1981. Four issues are published per year, each comprising 144 pages.

The Revue historique des armées is richly illustrated, largely thanks to items from the SHD's picture collections and publishes a wide variety of articles, special reports on different topics, short articles on French military badges, information relating to the department's records collections, various book review features and reports on academic research and conferences and other events relating to military history.<<
Link

The italics are mine. "SHD" stands for "Service Historique de la Défense" (Historical Department of Defence)
I'm out of here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 31 Jan 14