WW 1 biggest mistake in history for Britain.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by BISHI, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. BISHI

    BISHI
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  2. Squiffy

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    Interesting article.

    I've read a few of his books, and quite often find myself in agreement with some of his conclusions.

    In this case I think I broadly agree. Britain was unprepared for war, and not at direct risk from a German victory. But that in 1914 would have been a very hard message to sell. Once commitments were given it would have been very difficult for Britain to renege without having been seen as trying.

    I'm not sure his comparison with the Napoleanic wars quite rings true either. Without France and Russia in the war, where would we have got the manpower and resources to match a Germany dedicated to preventing an invasion of mainland Europe?

    If we accepted a German victory in 1914 then I think it would have had to remain a German dominated Europe as I don't think the British Empire alone could have won a land war in Europe.
     
  3. BISHI

    BISHI
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    The point is we would have blockaded Europe just like we did in France and waited for Germany to atrophy .
     
  4. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    And what impact do you think that would have really? With the full resources of Europe and Russia against us, how would we ever invade and win a land war?
     
  5. BISHI

    BISHI
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    Containment and supported guerrilla resistance just like the last time somebody tried to dominate Europe.
     
  6. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    It was different in 1914.

    In Napoleans time we had allies - the Prussians, the Portugese, etc.

    Napolean couldn't harness the resources of the contintent easily. They didn't have the network of railways, factories, etc.

    A German controlled continent in 1914 without the Germans having to fight a 2nd front would IMHO be impossible for the British Empire to have invaded alone.
     
  7. SteakAndCake

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    Meaningless discussion. To objectively evaluate if WWI was a mistake or not, we would need to see the entire alternative timeline from Britain's decision not to go to war to present day. How the world or Britain would be today is subject to thousands of equally valid potential speculations.
     
  8. sniffer66

    sniffer66
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    Completely agree. If it wasn't for the excessive reparations enforced at Versailles then it's unlikely the national socialists would have gotten such a foothold in post war Germany. You just have no way of knowing what the butterfly effect would have been
     
  9. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    All discussions are meaningless. (Especially in the politics forum).

    We can never know what would have been different. But I find alternate history a fascinating area of debate.

    I think ultimately the British Empire would still have dissolved without the world wars. But I suspect Britain would be a much richer country. Not just from not spending most of our resources on the wars, but also if we could realise the potential of the generation that lost their lives.
     
  10. kav

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    I read somewhere that the world wars directly contributed to the development of much of the technology and conveniences that make our lives today so comfortable. I think the general point was that in times of comfort, innovation progresses more slowly than in times of great distress, when lives depend on innovation and progress. As has been said, we can never tell what might have been, but without the world wars there is the possibility we would not even be capable of having this discussion right now.
     
  11. Trollslayer

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    You could even theorise about the effect on the US economy and hence it's political influence.
     
  12. SteakAndCake

    SteakAndCake
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    Specifically, WWI directly led to the creation of the Aviation industry.
     
  13. Squiffy

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    Indeed, I am of the strong opinion that the US becoming an economic and military superpower after WWII was significantly due to the boost they got from Britain spending so much with them on the war.

    I'm sure they would have got there anyway, but Britain most certainly helped speed up the process.
     
  14. Trollslayer

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    Plus the volume manufacturing for the war effort as a whole.
     
  15. raduv1

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    And WW1 was a great catalyst for the Spanish Flu pandemic that thinned the population by 20 to 40 million . People must of thought it was the end of world with the finish of the most destructive war ever seen only for a virus to target the fit and healthy 15 to 35 year olds . Talk about God fearing:eek: or nature telling us anything you can do we can do better. Spend four years trying to survive the worst horror imaginable and get struck down by something you can't fight... makes you think .
     
  16. Wild Weasel

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    War spending certainly helped bring them out of the great depression, but post war, I think the fact that all their competitors were either crushed by Communism, bankrupt, worn out or had been bombed into the stone age had more to do with it. Plus the US had far more factories by the end of the war than the they did at the start and hadn't suffered any effective bombing themselves.
     
  17. BISHI

    BISHI
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    Speculation-
    No communism?
    No Great Depression .?
    No Hoover dam.?
    No Las Vegas ?
    No ww2
    No Hitler.
    6 million Jews still flourishing in Europe ( and consequently no Israel or Middle East crisis - maybe the Ottoman Empire would still persist).
    No spitfires or jet engines.
    No cavity magnetron , radar , microwaves or mobile phones.
    No programmable computers.
    No penicillin or great leaps in plastic surgery.
    No tanks.
    The pound as the global reserve currency still .?
     
  18. raduv1

    raduv1
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    Ok

    All of those would arrive just not in the timeline as we know it or with the history as we now see it . Speculation of course as I can't change the past or see into future . But as we say where I live round and round and s serve a purpose.

    I do like the we made more technical advances during world wars and yet Japan who was utterly and totally beaten and demoralised surfaced as the largest supplier or auto and electrical goods for fifty years plus without the basic supply of essential oil, gas or minearels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  19. raduv1

    raduv1
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    I'm sorry but why do we commemorate the start of the great war ( great ? ) WW1 . Shouldn't we commemorate the end and then remember the fallen. We had three family members in WW1 two didn't make it and only my grandad survived to tell the tale . He died in 1975 at 75 and even though I was only young I remember asking him about the war. He was quiet for a long time and when he did speak he was almost silent and these were the only words ever mentioned about it. " No man mother or family should ever tread this path again or honour what we did " that was it and all he said I was eight at time and didn't understand . Huh that one sentence spoken only once and recited to you lot has made me cry like a baby . Sorry fellas very chocked up and rather embarrassed now so need to leave this thread.
     
  20. Sonic67

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    The counter view is in today's Times. The historian in the OP's link holds a minority view which he tries to back by making out the Kaiser's Germany was almost moderate.

    It wasn't. By staying out we would have been in a similar position to how we were in 1940. All of Europe taken and Britain alone.

    His article is click bait and no different to a book he did years ago.
     
  21. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    It was Germany that almost contained us. The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of the war.

    We survived due to American support, technological advances and breaking codes.

    We survive on food imports. What if America had left us and Europe to it?

    Also the French resistance was something over blown by France and De Gaulle to excuse their collaboration.
     
  22. BISHI

    BISHI
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    And of course Japan's auto industry was dependent on the Americans needing jeeps and trucks for the Korean War which was caused by the ww2 and the rise of communism which came about due to ww1.
     
  23. BISHI

    BISHI
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    Wrong war fella.!
     
  24. Sonic67

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    Your post above seems to refer to WWII? Hence my post also does.
     
  25. BISHI

    BISHI
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    No, it was related to Ferguson's suggestion that Britain should have dealt with Germany the way we had with Napoleon a century before.
     
  26. blue max

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    You know, the world is not dominated by one regime for very long. Had we 'lost' the war (and some may say we lost it anyway), we would have slowly, but surely returned to self-rule. One way or another at any rate.
    We wouldn't all be goose stepping and speaking German.
    The Romans did it and life went on. It seems to be portrayed as the end of the world, but in reality, it was just a change of politics.
    No disrespect to anyone who was directly effected by it of course. Just a wider viewpoint.
     
  27. Sonic67

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    LIGHTS OUT - The Royal British Legion.

    We're encouraging everyone in the UK to turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm on 4 August 2014 – leaving only a single light or candle for this symbolic act of reflection and hope.
     
  28. johntheexpat

    johntheexpat
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    Best thing ever WW1! because it set up the conditions for WW2, which meant my dad came to the UK to do his bit and after that he met my mum and hey presto!.

    What happened, happened. To say it was a terrible mistake implies that none of us should be here.
     
  29. Trollslayer

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    Or that others should have lived?
    A selfish point of view.
     
  30. johny1980

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    Selfish.....possibly.

    But a good point.

    Maybe I exist because thousands of years ago a bad dead was done?

    If so I couldn't care less because I like existing.
     

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