The ASL Book Club

Jeffrey D Myers

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As Gregg Allman might say: "Can you tell me, tell me, friend, just exactly where I've been?"

Edit: Dickey Betts might respond: "Don't fly, mister blue bird, I'm just walking down the road, early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know."
 

von Marwitz

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So when they say, "Remember Pearl Harbor," you don't? Do you Germans want so badly to forget that you bombed Pearl Harbor?

JR
Err, yes...
Must have been one of the "Wunderwaffen" that are so secret that the NSA does not manage to lift the veil even today. At least, then the Japanese flew in to take pictures. o_O

But your sarcasm aside, it is a difference, if some island (Hawaiians please forgive) thousands of kilometers off the mainland is bombed once compared to millions of Japanese soldiers moving through the US from Chicago to New York after flattening those cities. The relative number of the civilian population of the US affected by the attack on Pearl is all but dwarfed by the proportion of European civilian populations who were directly affected by war. And this difference affects how populations view war - which is the relevant part and addresses Khandid Geamera's question in post #135.

von Marwitz
 

sarfs

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Err, yes...
Must have been one of the "Wunderwaffen" that are so secret that the NSA does not manage to lift the veil even today. At least, then the Japanese flew in to take pictures. o_O

But your sarcasm aside, it is a difference, if some island (Hawaiians please forgive) thousands of kilometers off the mainland is bombed once compared to millions of Japanese soldiers moving through the US from Chicago to New York after flattening those cities. The relative number of the civilian population of the US affected by the attack on Pearl is all but dwarfed by the proportion of European civilian populations who were directly affected by war. And this difference affects how populations view war - which is the relevant part and addresses Khandid Geamera's question in post #135.

von Marwitz
I take it you never watched "Animal House". Bluto goes on a rant where he makes the comment about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor.
 

jrv

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But your sarcasm aside, it is a difference, if some island (Hawaiians please forgive) thousands of kilometers off the mainland is bombed once compared to millions of Japanese soldiers moving through the US from Chicago to New York after flattening those cities. The relative number of the civilian population of the US affected by the attack on Pearl is all but dwarfed by the proportion of European civilian populations who were directly affected by war. And this difference affects how populations view war - which is the relevant part and addresses Khandid Geamera's question in post #135.
Well I can let you push sarcasm aside, if sarcasm there was. But I can't let you push history aside. The last country in world war ii to undergo attacks from strategic bombing was Japan. What was the second-to-last country? Full marks if you answered, "the United States."

JR
 
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von Marwitz

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Well I can let you push sarcasm aside, but I can't let you push history aside. The last country in world war ii to undergo attacks from strategic bombing was Japan. What was the second-to-last country? Full marks if you say, "the United States."

JR
Honestly, I do not understand your problem and think that you lie far off my point.

This is not about which country bombed or not bombed Pearl, which country was last strategically bombed in WW2. Least of all is this to degenerate into some sort of "but you bombed first" or "but you bombed more". If so, I am outta here and leave others at it.

Neither is this about the strategic bombing of Japan:

KhandidGamera to whom I was responding:
"My perception is that collective feeling about wars in general and getting into ANY of them affects Europeans to this day, hangs over like a dark shadow.
I stand corrected if I'm wrong in that by European's on this board."

This is about how the past has affected collective feeling about wars and getting into any of them from the perspective of Europeans.

My point of view, being a European and as such addressed, is that European populations, having been effected in a by far more widespread, personal and direct manner by war and enemy armies IN their respective home countries - especially on the civilian side - are significantly more careful getting involved in large scale conflicts in comparison to the US. I believe one reason for this is that the US civilian population lacks the experience of being at the sharp end for 150 years in any scale even remotely approaching that what European civilian populations have been subjected to. You may exchange the US with another country in comparable circumstances.

So, if someone completely eradicated Helgoland, the Orkney Isles, Capri, or Hawaii, it may cause deaths, damage and outrage in Germany, the UK, Italy or the US. But it will not seriously damage the functioning of any of those countries. If you so please, do add Japan and any one of its minor outlying isles. If you area bomb any city in any given country greater than 100.000 (or even less), that drives the experience of war home to everyone. The same if you have enemy tanks or soldiers filing down your street. I am convinced that most will think differently about war and getting involved in it, when they ARE or HAVE BEEN directly and personally subjected to it (exactly what has not happened to the bulk of the US population for those 150 years). And this experience and the thoughts about it don't just vanish when the war is over.

von Marwitz
 

Justiciar

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European - are significantly more careful getting involved in large scale conflicts in comparison to the US. .....
Really? Really? This is what European History since 1066 tells you? Setting aside the formation of the US itself, until WWI the US was never in a "large scale conflict"...(our main enemy until WWI was Mexico and the Indians of the west, and our army was geared to fight these adversaries not act on a global stage) and we entered WWI only just.

I am pretty sure Europeans have entered more large scale conflicts than the US has. (That you have long first hand knowledge of combat, as you note, is proof of my point).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

We can just pick up at the 11th Century mark, and sure one can weed out some small conflicts in the list, but one can also easily spot the large scale ones...some which fester in one form or another over the centuries.

....that list will dwarf the US' "large scale" list: WWI, WWII, Korea (also involved European nations), Vietnam, Cold War (European nations took part), Iraq I (Europeans present), Iraq part 2 (Europeans present), A-stan (Europeans present), Global War on Terror (Europeans present).

You are not significantly more careful...and some of your lack of vigilance about how to prevent war or fight them required the presence of the US to end them, and* keep them from flaring up again.
 

von Marwitz

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Really? Really? This is what European History since 1066 tells you?
Come ON! I am talking about post WW2. That should not have been too difficult to figure out.

....that list will dwarf the US' "large scale" list: Korea (also involved European nations), Vietnam, Cold War (European nations took part), Iraq I (Europeans present), Iraq part 2 (Europeans present), A-stan (Europeans present), Global War on Terror (Europeans present).
You name it. European nations present. With what percentage of the forces and what say on strategy and operational independence from the US? There you go.

You are not significantly more careful...and some of your lack of vigilance about how to prevent war or fight them required the presence of the US to end them, and* keep them from flaring up again.
I'd rather say it required the presence of the US to start and actually fight them. In this it is better than the European nations. On the other hand the US has not quite distinguished itself in ending wars successfully in the last decades, no?

But this was not my point, pal.

Where in your list

WW1, WW2, Korea (also involved European nations), Vietnam, Cold War (European nations took part), Iraq I (Europeans present), Iraq part 2 (Europeans present), A-stan (Europeans present), Global War on Terror (Europeans present).

has the US civilian population been anywhere remotely as affected compared to that of European populations in WW2 or WW1?

You don't have at least one grandmother per family which has experienced first hand enemy occupation, bombing etc.

That is my point.

And that is why the attitude towards war by many Europeans is different to that of many US-Americans.

von Marwitz
 
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Justiciar

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von M,

The point of discussion was the bold I quoted from your post, nothing more nothing less. I was addressing that, and that alone.

And the point I made stands, "You are not significantly more careful...and some of your lack of vigilance about how to prevent war or fight them required the presence of the US to end them, and* keep them from flaring up again."

Your counter point about force size or having to follow another's strategy etc, is nothing more then special pleading...and falls on deaf ears and worse sounds lame to those who read your text. This is not much different that SHAEF, Eisenhower, a Europe first strategy, and the contingents from small nations that still fought and followed orders. Most European nations are democratic last time I checked you are free to withdraw your contingents any time you wish...

As to ending wars...oh please. Really again with that...it took you all 30 Years until the Treaty of Westphalia to end one of your large conflicts. The US is nowhere near that. Get back to me when your European record is eclipsed by events.

Good day von M.

Andy
 

Eagle4ty

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I'm not so sure that an inclination to go to war since the 2nd World War can directly be attributed to a perception predicated upon personal experiences of the populace from the last war (i.e. WW II), as much as it was their capacity and the position the U.S. found itself in following the conflict. With a GNP equal to that of all other nations of the world, and yes, the fact that mainland U.S. had not been devastated and was thee industrialized nation to emerge from the war relatively unscathed, it's role in world politics was thrust upon it as much as entered upon by design or by the will of the people.
 

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I'll put in a plug for Figes' A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924 if you're interested in 19th-20th Century Russian history, except for one small flaw relating to word choice, it's a great book -- very readable and the broader historical coverage really put a lot of the events of the revolution and civil war "proper" into context.
I found this book of Figes very good and second the recommendation. I used it as a source for a number of essays. He is much more of a social historian than a military one. During the WW1 period of the book you'll get more about Brusilov writing home and peasant soldiers burning their rifles to stay warm than battlefield tactics and such.
 

von Marwitz

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von M,

The point of discussion was the bold I quoted from your post, nothing more nothing less. I was addressing that, and that alone.

And the point I made stands, "You are not significantly more careful...and some of your lack of vigilance about how to prevent war or fight them required the presence of the US to end them, and* keep them from flaring up again."

Your counter point about force size or having to follow another's strategy etc, is nothing more then special pleading...and falls on deaf ears and worse sounds lame to those who read your text. This is not much different that SHAEF, Eisenhower, a Europe first strategy, and the contingents from small nations that still fought and followed orders. Most European nations are democratic last time I checked you are free to withdraw your contingents any time you wish...

As to ending wars...oh please. Really again with that...it took you all 30 Years until the Treaty of Westphalia to end one of your large conflicts. The US is nowhere near that. Get back to me when your European record is eclipsed by events.

Good day von M.

Andy
I have explained to you that I was referring to the time after WW2 with regard to the attitude of many Europeans. You may ignore that, keep referring to long bygone centuries that I was never addressing and quote my posts out of the context which I meant.

But then, you are leading an entirely different argument which has nothing to do with mine.

Yours is that the Europeans have been involved in many large scale conflicts for centuries as the US have for a shorter period of time (since it does not have that much history).
:captainobvious:

I am looking at the attitudes with which the people of the US and European peoples look at war after 1945 which I believe to be different.

Do you believe that someone having been present in a close Super Bowl in the stadium near game end could make someone who has never been into a stadium feel the atmosphere there? Would you think that a monk might be able to grasp the pleasures sex can bring by it being described to him? Do you wonder why combat veterans are often reluctant to talk about their experience with non-veterans?

It is about empathy. If you have shared a common experience with other persons, you are more likely to empathize how it might have felt for them. If you lack such a common experience, it might prove more difficult. If people have personally made extremely unpleasant experiences in a given situation, they are likely to try to avoid these in the future. If it wasn't half as bad then likely less so.

By personal experience the US population has "learned" beyond the scope of their current lifetime, that war may be expensive and that their soldiers die or may return harmed or mutilated. And that their homes and families went unharmed by direct effects of war in the vast majority of cases. Regardless of whether the US has lost or won its wars.

By personal experience European populations have "learned" differently within the scope of their current lifetime that the cost of war goes beyond mere cost and harm to their soldiers. Homes and families have been massively hit by direct effects of war for large parts of the population in WW1 and WW2. Regardless of whether the they have lost or won these wars.

So, when jumping the water, the European populations hit a rock while the US population did not. Who is likely to be more reluctant to jump again?

The US population has not had its homeland devastated in their lifetime. European populations had. And if Europeans see it happen elsewhere even if they are not hit themselves, they are still better able to empathize because they have experienced it themselves.

If a war went bad for the US, they could basically pull out their forces to go home and leave the wreckage behind if they so please. In WW1 and WW2, which are pivotal for the Europeans, these did not have that option. The wreckage was their home, there was no place to go.

I believe these differences are deeply rooted in the respective memories of the Europeans and the Americans today. They are still individually relevant to them, because they lie not long in the past. And that is why arguing with the 30-Year's-War (1618-1648) is leading nowhere. The individual relevance of the experienced monstrosities of war was of such extent that it even managed to peacefully bring together sworn enemies after WW2 in Europe. This was the true wonder. But with memories of WW1 and WW2 fading and people dying, the effect wears off and the European countries begin to squabble.
Still, the effect is felt, though.

It is the reason that Germany decided not to take part in Iraq 2 as you might remember. A good decision because it turned out that there were no WMD which were presented as the cause for going to war - and the US knew it. No one has won anything in that war either. Not the Iraqi people who are not better off now, nor the US which has damaged its reputation in the world by that campaign in the eyes of many. Least the soldiers and people who have died or suffered.

There are other ways which may be more effective to reach an objective. Ways which require time and patience. Something that Western states seem rarely be willing or able to apply with mostly short term profit or only the very next election on the agenda.

Look at the ascent of China in the past decades as one example.

As a very negative example, look at Saudi Arabia. It spreads its extremist religious fanaticism most successfully by sponsoring schools worldwide for decades. Undoubtedly the wrong type of schools for sure. But the effects of these madrassas is what the US and others are spending trillions of dollars on to fight - without any substantial progress to put extremist Islam to an end. I would think the Saudi Arabian "investment" has been less i.e. proved more cost effective.

Why should the methods of that negative example not work if put into a positive context? With good schools devoid of the teaching of extremism but instead with productive curriculums? Surely loads of difficulties and no spectacular short time successes that way but maybe worth it in the long run. But just skipping one unneccessary war such as Iraq 2 and the West spending the expenses on good education instead might have gone a long way to serve its interest.

von Marwitz
 

von Marwitz

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I'm not so sure that an inclination to go to war since the 2nd World War can directly be attributed to a perception predicated upon personal experiences of the populace from the last war (i.e. WW II), as much as it was their capacity and the position the U.S. found itself in following the conflict.
It is surely not the sole factor but I believe a very relevant one.

von Marwitz
 

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I have explained to you that I was referring to the time after WW2 with regard to the attitude of many Europeans. You may ignore that, keep referring to long bygone centuries that I was never addressing and quote my posts out of the context which I meant.

But then, you are leading an entirely different argument which has nothing to do with mine.

Yours is that the Europeans have been involved in many large scale conflicts for centuries as the US have for a shorter period of time (since it does not have that much history).
:captainobvious:

I am looking at the attitudes with which the people of the US and European peoples look at war after 1945 which I believe to be different.

Do you believe that someone having been present in a close Super Bowl in the stadium near game end could make someone who has never been into a stadium feel the atmosphere there? Would you think that a monk might be able to grasp the pleasures sex can bring by it being described to him? Do you wonder why combat veterans are often reluctant to talk about their experience with non-veterans?

It is about empathy. If you have shared a common experience with other persons, you are more likely to empathize how it might have felt for them. If you lack such a common experience, it might prove more difficult. If people have personally made extremely unpleasant experiences in a given situation, they are likely to try to avoid these in the future. If it wasn't half as bad then likely less so.

By personal experience the US population has "learned" beyond the scope of their current lifetime, that war may be expensive and that their soldiers die or may return harmed or mutilated. And that their homes and families went unharmed by direct effects of war in the vast majority of cases. Regardless of whether the US has lost or won its wars.

By personal experience European populations have "learned" differently within the scope of their current lifetime that the cost of war goes beyond mere cost and harm to their soldiers. Homes and families have been massively hit by direct effects of war for large parts of the population in WW1 and WW2. Regardless of whether the they have lost or won these wars.

So, when jumping the water, the European populations hit a rock while the US population did not. Who is likely to be more reluctant to jump again?

The US population has not had its homeland devastated in their lifetime. European populations had. And if Europeans see it happen elsewhere even if they are not hit themselves, they are still better able to empathize because they have experienced it themselves.

If a war went bad for the US, they could basically pull out their forces to go home and leave the wreckage behind if they so please. In WW1 and WW2, which are pivotal for the Europeans, these did not have that option. The wreckage was their home, there was no place to go.

I believe these differences are deeply rooted in the respective memories of the Europeans and the Americans today. They are still individually relevant to them, because they lie not long in the past. And that is why arguing with the 30-Year's-War (1618-1648) is leading nowhere. The individual relevance of the experienced monstrosities of war was of such extent that it even managed to peacefully bring together sworn enemies after WW2 in Europe. This was the true wonder. But with memories of WW1 and WW2 fading and people dying, the effect wears off and the European countries begin to squabble.
Still, the effect is felt, though.

It is the reason that Germany decided not to take part in Iraq 2 as you might remember. A good decision because it turned out that there were no WMD which were presented as the cause for going to war - and the US knew it. No one has won anything in that war either. Not the Iraqi people who are not better off now, nor the US which has damaged its reputation in the world by that campaign in the eyes of many. Least the soldiers and people who have died or suffered.

There are other ways which may be more effective to reach an objective. Ways which require time and patience. Something that Western states seem rarely be willing or able to apply with mostly short term profit or only the very next election on the agenda.

Look at the ascent of China in the past decades as one example.

As a very negative example, look at Saudi Arabia. It spreads its extremist religious fanaticism most successfully by sponsoring schools worldwide for decades. Undoubtedly the wrong type of schools for sure. But the effects of these madrassas is what the US and others are spending trillions of dollars on to fight - without any substantial progress to put extremist Islam to an end. I would think the Saudi Arabian "investment" has been less i.e. proved more cost effective.

Why should the methods of that negative example not work if put into a positive context? With good schools devoid of the teaching of extremism but instead with productive curriculums? Surely loads of difficulties and no spectacular short time successes that way but maybe worth it in the long run. But just skipping one unneccessary war such as Iraq 2 and the West spending the expenses on good education instead might have gone a long way to serve its interest.

von Marwitz
Yawn.
 

Jeffrey D Myers

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To escape this US v. Europe banter, I think that I'll go to Canada for a few days. Might even play some ASL ftf if all works out. I'm taking along _Ortona_ to read on the planes/trains.
 

Yuri0352

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Also the Osprey series of books Aircraft of the Aces,each book featuring one type of aircraft and the aces that flew them and their Aviation Elite series with actions of particular squadrons throughout the war. Both are incredible series of books IMHO.
These are some of my favorites of the Osprey series. I especially enjoyed Jagdverband 44, squadron of experten. I'm hoping to track down a copy of VF 101, The Sundowners next.
 

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