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BigEndBob
15th Nov 2013, 19:43
Just been watching The Somme on Channel 4 as part of their Remembrance season. Is it time to forget about the past events.
I know millions lost their lives, for which that is sad.
My own Grandfather survived as a boy soldier in The Great War, as I will call it, and the Second World war. My Uncles served in Burma, Borneo and Oman.
But does remembering achieve anything.
It hasn't stopped wars.
Many wars have happened since.
A Soldier recently went to prison for shooting an enemy.
In the Channel Four program is re-acted the shooting of surrendering enemy soldiers. What's changed?
Look at series such as Band of Brothers or The Pacific
Often shown are situations where a soldier is caused to fire on a surrendering soldiers.
Ok we celebrate the freedoms we think or know these sacrifices have achieved.
I was thinking is it time to ground aircraft such as the Lancaster Bomber or Spitfire? What are they celebrating as they fly past.
Is the 100 year remembrance of the 1914-1919 war time to say that, this is the past and enough is enough.

BenThere
15th Nov 2013, 19:48
Not sure where you're coming from by initiating this thread, but I think there can never be enough acknowledgement and gratitude expressed for the many, many men who died, often in extreme agony, wearing the uniform of free countries.

alisoncc
15th Nov 2013, 19:51
Suspect many will get to fight in WWIII if we forget WWII and WWI. Mankind isn't smart enough to remember bad things without constant reminders.

TOWTEAMBASE
15th Nov 2013, 19:57
Surely we are not remembering the war but those that we lost in it ?

beaufort1
15th Nov 2013, 20:00
How does one forget when you live with 600 to 700 German fortifications which I see every day as I move around the island where I live?
I think it's the very least we can do is remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice and were unfortunate to be born into such times. It's not such an onerous task is it?

obgraham
15th Nov 2013, 20:13
There was a time when I had some similar feelings as BigBob. In particular I thought we were spending way too much time rehashing the miseries of the Holocaust. "Let it go, we've moved on" was my line.

However, now, a little older and hopefully more mature, I've a different view. Once out of mind, sure enough the same thoughts, prejudices, whatever you want to call them have resurfaced. The younger generations think these events are ancient history and are irrelevant to today. In fact the opposite is true -- the lessons of the early 20th century have not really been learned, and remain a major cause of our problems today.

So no, let's not forget WW1 and WW2 with all their related issues and horrors. They need to be kept alive in the minds of the next generations. Who knows if they will heed the lessons, but one thing is sure: if we forget, they will surely repeat.

rgbrock1
15th Nov 2013, 20:16
Once we forget history we are damned to repeat it.

BigEndBob
15th Nov 2013, 20:16
Yes, I could look out of my window and say see a Castle, or a reconstructed Roman fort. We think of those as being long ago, History.
The recent vote in Parliament not to back an attack on Syria I think was a turning point. America lost the moral vote.
Many, i.e. the newspapers put Britain's standing down, after the no vote.
But I think Britain rose above.
For once Britain lead with moral guidance, enough was enough, and the rest of the World paused.
Syria could have been the start of WWIII.

BigEndBob
15th Nov 2013, 20:21
rgbrock we are repeating, that is the problem, look at the news re; Sri Lanka!
They didn't learn from our experiences. Should their school children have seen 'World at War'. How would they relate to that?

BenThere
15th Nov 2013, 20:25
Agreed. Blundering into the Syrian morass, as the US Left wanted to do, not even knowing for sure which side it was on, would have been a huge mistake.

By the grace of God, there were still enough Republicans in Congress to squash that initiative, and President Obama had to withdraw his demand for military intervention.

tony draper
15th Nov 2013, 20:25
Why not go the whole hog and apologize to Germany for interfering with their plans, twice,that seems to be par for the course now.
:suspect:

BigEndBob
15th Nov 2013, 20:32
In Britain's tv series 'Question Time', it was mentioned that Britain only had 16 odd Warships. So what, I would much prefer we had dozen aircraft carriers with the facility to lend support as being given by the USA in the Philippines.

BenThere
15th Nov 2013, 20:38
I thought Brits figured it out long before we Americans did. The more you help people out, the more they hate you for it.

BigEndBob
15th Nov 2013, 20:47
So who have we 'Helped' that now hate us, Iraq? Afgahan?
They will always hate foreigners, wouldn't you if they invaded your country, a very simple way of uniting a fractured populous.

obgraham
15th Nov 2013, 20:48
Yeah, but Ben, we're doing it again, aren't we?

Because it's the right thing to do.

Super VC-10
15th Nov 2013, 20:52
I agree that we should not forget. Hopefully by remembering WWI and WWII, we won't have WWIII.

It wasn't just military people who showed bravery in wartime. Civilians did too, such as Charles Fryatt in WWI.

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

The 100th aniversary of his execution is in July 1916. I hope to ensure that it is suitably marked at the time.

BenThere
15th Nov 2013, 21:19
Absolutely. American women stepped up magnificently to manufacture the aircraft, and all the other needs of the total war effort of WWII.

I think, should we be confronted with such a threat again, our disparate elements would once again congeal, but of that I am not certain. We would need a Churchill to make it happen again.

con-pilot
15th Nov 2013, 21:44
The answer to the question is;

Not only no, but hell no.

In fact, I believe that all children in the US should be taken to the Holocaust Museum* in Washington D.C. between the ages of 13 to 16.

'Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.'

More wiser words have not been written.




* And if you think that such a thing cannot not happen again, you are dead wrong.

Neptunus Rex
15th Nov 2013, 21:45
BigEndBob

No matter how well intentioned, don't even think about expressing such sentiments in Australia.

TURIN
15th Nov 2013, 22:20
Lest we forget?


Posted from Pprune.org App for Android

onetrack
15th Nov 2013, 23:36
It will be time to forget about WW1 and WW2 when all of mankind has "turned their swords into ploughshares".

While evil men continue to dream of conquest by violent and criminal means, and by the propagation of murderous hatred, then we need to continually revisit and examine the reasons for every war in the last 10 generations.

mikedreamer787
16th Nov 2013, 00:15
Following the OP's argument, then Auschwitz should be razed
to the ground and all WWI and II memorials broken down and
sold off as road-making ingredients.

That way future expansionary dictators and despots will begin
a new round of global conquest and bump off a few million of
people who's culture they don't like for whatever mad reason.

If the world is not constantly remembered of those two wars in
particular, there's no doubt it will be repeated again and again.

War is a horrible filthy bloody business and always will be, and
should be avoided wherever possible.

ExRAFRadar
16th Nov 2013, 07:43
As an adjunct I believe getting the Politicians off thier ars*s and down to the Cenotaph once a year is a timely reminder of the ultimate sacrifice other people make for their policies.

Blair et al. could have done with a bit more 'Remembrance'

Effluent Man
16th Nov 2013, 08:20
I thought it was a bit rich accusing the US left of wanting to interfere in Syria.It was the UK left that put a stop to this particular escapade when they failed to support that lunatic Hague with his plans to intervene.On the OP I lost a grandfather in WW1 (RN) had another at Ypres and had a great uncle (RNVR) who won a DSO for sinking a U boat.All I would say is that remembrance seems to be becoming a bit of an adjunct to Strictly Come Dancing and being turned into entertainment.

chuks
16th Nov 2013, 09:21
There have been numerous wars that are now just footnotes to history, because they happened so long ago, or involved peoples we know and care very little about.

Mine, the Vietnam War, I have seen fading as I watch. As part of an Art History course, we were invited to view several photographs, one of Marines on the Rockpile, and that other one of the little girl, Kim Phuc, who was burned by napalm.

The Marines, that they were Marines, where they were, and what they were doing there ... not a clue on the part of the young students, and no interest in being informed, either.

The little girl was described as having been wounded by "American napalm," but when I pointed out that she had been burned by a Vietnamese air strike, one without direct US involvement, that turned into a counter-argument that, well, the napalm was US-made!

I asked the class that if I ran over a Vermont hippy with my Toyota Land Crusher, could that be properly described as "Local Hippy Squashed by Japanese SUV!" or else, "Local Hippy Squashed by Fellow American!" Sullen silence greeted this, because it had been Susan Sontag who made the mistake about whose air strike had wounded that child, and these clowns wanted their history served up the way they wanted it, not the way it happened.

The reality of my war is fading less than 40 years after it ended, to be woven into some fantasy, in the same way so many wars have been re-worked. So, "Let it go," is my advice.

radeng
16th Nov 2013, 12:06
VC10,

There was also Edith Cavell - executed Feb 12 1915.

onetrack
16th Nov 2013, 12:07
Chuks - I haven't forgotten - and I've never forgotten staring into the face of a VC from less than 20M away and seeing the murderous, evil, twisted rage and hatred on that contorted face, that virtually turned his face black.
I saw the face of Satan that day - and I won't forget any of my SVN experiences until the day I die - just as many WW1 and WW2 veterans did, and still do. :(

airship
16th Nov 2013, 12:35
chuks wrote: The reality of my war is fading less than 40 years after it ended, to be woven into some fantasy, in the same way so many wars have been re-worked. So, "Let it go," is my advice.

Do you really mean to "Let it go" or something more like this:

Rambo Stallone - On The Set Of First Blood : Part1 ( filming location video ) - YouTube

Rambo Stallone - On The Set Of First Blood : Part2 ( filming location video ) - YouTube

PS. The videos above include commentary from Sylvester Stallone "Let it go, or I'll give you a war..." himself, with (sometimes amusing) editing and input by a Frenchman Hervé Attia going over the original filming locations then and afterwards... :ok:

obgraham
16th Nov 2013, 15:25
The Vietnam war is a more complicated matter. No clear goals, the home country divided over its validity, an outcome that seems to have been no victory at all. I predict that perception of our recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will take a similar path in the public's mind in, say 30 years.

However, none of that diminishes the contribution and sacrifice of the people who served in those wars. I for one still salute the service of folks like you, Chuks, and the others who were treated so badly after Vietnam.

I think we did learn from that mistake, and now we see our men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan treated with more respect for their service.

However the memory of these wars evolves, I hope we will continue to hold dear the service of those who went when asked, and served with their every fiber.

tony draper
16th Nov 2013, 16:45
Wars and Battles are the punctuation marks in our Histories,who the f*ck would want to write about peace?
:rolleyes:

con-pilot
16th Nov 2013, 17:16
As a former Ppruner once wrote here, can't remember the exact phrase, so I'll paraphrase;

'Peace is highly overated, it is just a time out period between wars.'

We should never forget that.

gingernut
16th Nov 2013, 17:42
Well BigEnd, probably one of the most controversial posts I've read for a while.

No, we should not forget. Repulsed by the results of war as I am.:(

"Moving on" seems like an easy excuse to involve our selves in more misery.

BenThere
16th Nov 2013, 17:47
Thing is, though, that if the evil in the world is not resisted, it grows and grows, until the point where rooting it out becomes devastatingly costly and painful.

I don't think the wiser course is to try to ignore it, hoping it will leave us alone. That strategy only increases the risk of being consumed by it.

John Hill
16th Nov 2013, 18:07
Do you ever fight with your neighbours? Why is that?

BenThere
16th Nov 2013, 18:17
No, I've never fought with any of my neighbors, ever. In fact, I count current and previous neighbors on the short list of my best friends.

Were you asking the question of me as mine was the post immediately before yours? Or was it some abstract thought you were throwing out into the ethereal abyss? If so, why is that?

John Marsh
16th Nov 2013, 18:22
No, it's not time to forget. In any case, who would have the authority to declare 'it's time to forget'?

BenThere:
Thing is, though, that if the evil in the world is not resisted, it grows and grows, until the point where rooting it out becomes devastatingly costly and painful.

I don't think the wiser course is to try to ignore it, hoping it will leave us alone. That strategy only increases the risk of being consumed by it.I agree. I would add that one way to 'try to ignore it' is to re-frame it. I'm thinking in particular of the film 'Downfall', which sought to 'humanise' Hitler.

Super VC-10
16th Nov 2013, 18:25
Radeng - Yes, I know there was Edith Cavell, her story is well known. Fryatt's is not so well known.

Chuks - The Girl in the Photo

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

Another reason not to forget. To forgive, maybe, but never to forget.

C130 Techie
16th Nov 2013, 18:29
As someone who visits the battlefields of the Somme and Flanders regularly I am always reassured by the large numbers of children visiting the sites. This ensures that the great sacrifices made will not be forgotten for at least another generation.

I take groups of military personnel around the sites imparting the history and in return they research relevant subjects covering leadership, our core values and military ethos. Each person gives a presentation during the trips.

I find each visit deeply moving and very enlightening if not for simply watching the scale and horror of what happened dawn on people.

The land for the graves was granted in perpetuity, the CWGC was mandated to provide cemeteries and memorials that would last for 300 years. We must never forget!

PTT
16th Nov 2013, 20:05
To forgive, maybe, but never to forget.Forgive whom? The vast majority of those survivors of the two World Wars are no longer with us, and I'm always confused as to the reason why someone would hold something against an entirely new generation of a nation.

Never forget, though: those who fail to learn from history etc...

Super VC-10
16th Nov 2013, 20:16
PTT, I was referring to the fact that Kim Phuc has forgiven those who dropped the napalm that scarred her so badly.

PTT
16th Nov 2013, 20:25
Fair enough - misunderstood your meaning.

radeng
16th Nov 2013, 21:17
VC10

Let's also not forget Stewardess E. M. Owen of the Great Western Railway company's S. S. St Patrick. On Friday June 13, 1941, the St. Patrick was attacked by German aircraft not far from Fishguard and sunk. Stewardess Owen repeatedly dived into submerged cabins to ensure all the passengers for which she was responsible had escaped. She survived and was awarded the GC and the LLoyds War medal for her bravery and devotion to duty.

Strangely, she seems to have disappeared from history after that.

Which is why I maintain that 'Stewardess' is an honourable title that airlines should have kept - she not being the only stewardess at sea or in the air who acted with great bravery in looking after their passengers and in some cases, lost their lives in so doing.

vee-tail-1
16th Nov 2013, 22:33
I very much agree that WWI and WWII and all modern wars should not be forgotten. But what gets me mad is the jingoistic selectivity of the 'remembrance industry'.

It was the poor sodding soldiers, sailors and airmen of ALL sides who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Either we remember ALL of them with our poppies and celebrations: Russians, Germans, Japanese, Italians, French, Australians, English, Belgians, Indians, Chinese, etc ...
Or it is an example of grand hypocrisy, giving entirely the wrong message to younger generations.

obgraham
17th Nov 2013, 00:10
Wait....you think it is OUR responsibility to fondly remember the barbarous wartime activities of Japanese soldiers and guards in their POW camps? Nanking? And the sadistic SS?

No thank you. Our lads fought to get rid of those monsters, and I've nothing but contempt for the enemy's behavior.

North Shore
17th Nov 2013, 04:38
I've never forgotten staring into the face of a VC from less than 20M away and seeing the murderous, evil, twisted rage and hatred on that contorted face, that virtually turned his face black.

I wonder how you'd feel if it was the NVA invading Australia?

Super VC-10
17th Nov 2013, 06:00
Radeng

E M Owen's story should be told. She's certainly notable enough to have an article on Wikipedia. The award of a medal will have been Gazetted.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 07:09
Wait....you think it is OUR responsibility to fondly remember the barbarous wartime activities of Japanese soldiers and guards in their POW camps? Nanking? And the sadistic SS?

No thank you. Our lads fought to get rid of those monsters, and I've nothing but contempt for the enemy's behavior.Some of the Japanese and Germans were monsters. Some of our own side were monsters. For the most part the men involved were executing their duty just as our own side were. To believe otherwise is to believe the propaganda.

BenThere
17th Nov 2013, 07:19
While it seems we've moved much beyond this ethic in modern culture, and not for the better, I'm convinced, I would say the key question every soldier must put to himself is, "Can you defend your actions as good and justified before God (or a suitable, all-knowing, incorruptible judge substitute)?"

All those soldiers who can honestly answer affirmatively deserve remembrance, I think. Also, soldiers who were sent as nothing more than fodder, the Russians facing Germans on the steppes in the 40s, and all the trench warriors of WW1, for example, qualify as innocents who answered the call and were martyred. Tip of the hat to them all.

Captivep
17th Nov 2013, 07:26
I'm normally a lily-livered liberal but on this point I'm unequivocally not:

When I wear my poppy I do not give the slightest regard for the German, Japanese, Italian or Argentinian (for example) soldiers, sailors or airmen who died. I wear it to thank our guys who had to go through a war, particularly those who didn't come home (including my father's brother, whose body was never found after his Beaufighter was lost over the western approaches).

obgraham
17th Nov 2013, 07:33
Some of the Japanese and Germans were monsters. Some of our own side were monsters.Wow. There are no words to express my disgust at your making this moral equivalence.

Brutality and submission of the populace was the state sponsored policy of the Axis. Defeating the enemy armies in order to preserve freedom was the policy of the Allies. To believe otherwise simply means you are ignoring the entire history of the conflicts, and has nothing to do with propaganda.

BenThere
17th Nov 2013, 07:40
You're absolutely right, obgraham.

But the everyday infantryman had no choice. He was in it and suffered for his country, regardless of which side he was on. It's in that sense I have some sympathy for the enemy.

As for the ideologues that brought us the war, I hold the same disdain as I do for Islamists today.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 11:17
Wow. There are no words to express my disgust at your making this moral equivalence.

Brutality and submission of the populace was the state sponsored policy of the Axis. Defeating the enemy armies in order to preserve freedom was the policy of the Allies. To believe otherwise simply means you are ignoring the entire history of the conflicts, and has nothing to do with propaganda.Wow. No words can express my incredulousness at your inability to differentiate between the appropriate opprobrium directed at the individuals directing the state policy of the Axis and the poor individuals either forced to enact it at gunpoint or fooled into thinking they were acting in the best interests of themselves and their families.

Where state policy is to blame the poor bloody infantryman (on all sides) deserves our remembrance whether he was on the losing side or the winning side.

mikedreamer787
17th Nov 2013, 11:25
the poor individuals either forced to enact it at gunpoint or fooled into thinking they were acting in the best interests of themselves and their families.

I guess this 'poor individual' absolutely hated his job too and acted in the best interests of himself and his family.....

http://www.kingsacademy.com/mhodges/03_The-World-since-1900/07_World-War-Two/pictures/HRZ-169_German-brutality.jpg

SASless
17th Nov 2013, 11:37
Forget WWI and WWII....what a silly notion!

WWII....something like 60 Million Dead.....and we just close the book on that?

The US Military suffered 400,000 Killed and we just forget that?

It appears we have sadly....or at least failed to retain the lessons learned from both those Wars in that we have a situation today where one Man in the White House can order our Military into combat without Congress granting its prior approval in the form of a Vote to Declare War.

We have an all Volunteer Military, do not actively conscript Men, do not require Women to register for the Draft, and thus do not force every family to share in the risk of their children being killed fighting an undeclared War.

We do not mobilize the country for War....last time we did that was WWII....and we won it and have not "Won" any of the Wars since.

No....we very much need to "remember" WWI and WWII.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 11:55
I guess this 'poor individual' absolutely hated his job too and acted in the best interests of himself and his family.....Did you miss the bit where I said there were monsters on both sides, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

mikedreamer787
17th Nov 2013, 12:14
No I'm not being deliberate. If you think a WW2 Jap infantryman deserves any honor whatsoever by all and sundry you are sadly mistaken bud. Read up your history of the IJA atrocities against the locals esp in the PI's, Singapore, China and Borneo.

Better yet, go to those places and talk to the older locals, who by sheer miracle survived that 4 year nightmare.

Also have a read of Wehrmacht (no, not the Waffen SS, but the German Army) atrocities in France and especially Russia.

As far as 'your monsters on both sides is concerned' I haven't forgotten My Lai.

http://4.bp.bl0gspot.com/-GH92B9G41EU/TzqPJxVMfTI/AAAAAAAAhts/rnhupliARFk/s1600/MY+LAI+MASSACRE+-+Copy.jpg (http://4.bp.********.com/-GH92B9G41EU/TzqPJxVMfTI/AAAAAAAAhts/rnhupliARFk/s1600/MY+LAI+MASSACRE+-+Copy.jpg)

Nuff said.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 12:22
You're generalising, which is idiocy. Not all Japanese infantrymen carried out atrocities despite the number committed, just as not all US GIs and British soldiers raped women throughout Europe despite the number committed (estimated 14,000 rapes by GIs in England, France and Germany from 1942-1945 - source (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aFRnQgAACAAJ&dq=isbn:023050647X&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3cKIUo-cO7HT7AbMjIHgCw&redir_esc=y)). Just as we remember respectfully those on our side who did not take part in such events we should remember respectfully those on the other side who did the same. It's also worth remembering (not so respectfully) those on both sides who did carry out these heinous crimes, so as to remember how low man can go.

My Lai was just one, and in another war; there are plenty of other examples from both sides, just as there are plenty of soldiers on both sides who did act honourably.

mikedreamer787
17th Nov 2013, 12:31
You're generalising, which is idiocy.

If you hadnt've opened your post with an ad hominem
statement I would've been prepared to debate with you
in an unambiguous fashion. So all I'll say is we disagree
with each other.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 13:14
It wasn't an ad hominem. I said generalising is idiocy, not that you were an idiot.

airship
17th Nov 2013, 13:29
I've sometimes wondered how I myself might have behaved if I'd been a soldier in either of these 2 wars, and even later ones.

This is what I came up with:

1) The "rules of war", aka Geneva convention, even earlier "rituals" when it was expected that battle be commenced at a pre-arranged time and place etc., were written by Generals and politicians mostly far away from any battle-fields. And more or less irrelevent, except for those on the "losing side".

2) Whilst acknowledging that my enemies were more or less mirror-images of myself, except for not being on the same side, I'd still prefer that "they died for their country, whilst I did my best to survive and kill them, and surviving afterwards". I wouldn't necessarily care what methods I had available for my use to accomplish that goal, as rapidly as possible. Shoot first, ask questions later, we're all fodder here. War should never be considered like a football match, where the winners greet the losers with "Better luck next time?!", who've lost and surrendered.

3) If / when you start taking prisoners, you should know that the war you're fighting is probably at the behest of shallow politicians and other low-life and probably should never have happenned in the 1st place. You can't kill someone "just a litlle bit"...?! Taking prisoners and looking after their welfare afterwards consumes often meagre resources and just prolongs the duration of the war.

Today's and future wars will increasingly involve drones, robotics etc. significantly reducing the requirement for real "human-being" soldiers fighting battles on the ground. This is a great victory for all those "shallow politicians and other low-life" who can still and do instigate wars for their own or others' interests within their circles. Casualties to civilian human-beings, more better known as "collateral damage" will continue, perhaps even increasing, but "real soldiers" will be in a minority and much less at risk in future.

War will increasingly cease to have any purpose other than reinforcing military might. Nothing "moral" will be reaffirmed as might be by real soldiers on the ground anymore. And one fine day, the "enemy" may well obtain the same technological (or at least sufficient) prowess to annihilate us all whilst our politicians gather together on one of their innumerable International get-togethers, where the champagne and caviar flows abunduntly and they all congratulate each other for jobs well-done...?! :uhoh:

obgraham
17th Nov 2013, 19:52
PTT:

I suggest you go back and read (again if you already have) "The Rape of Nanking".

And then get back to me if you think that the grunt Japanese soldiers who sliced open pregnant women and tossed their unborn onto their bayonets were just poor unfortunate Japanese gentlemen following orders.

Likewise for the enablers of the SS medical experiments in the concentration camps.

Sorry, that's not what Remembrance Day/Veterans Day is all about for me.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 20:02
Good grief, are you even reading what I'm writing?

I'm not talking about those Japanese soldiers. I'm talking about the ones who didn't do that, and there were plenty of them, just as there were plenty of Allied soldiers who raped their way across Europe. Here's the important bit again:Not all Japanese infantrymen carried out atrocities despite the number committed

Here's what remembrance day means to me:
Governments are stupid enough to get into wars, but smart enough to convince good people to fight for them whatever the cause. Those good people, who fought in good faith for whichever side, are remembered with respect.
Alongside those good people there are some distinctly odious people who revel in the situation, who murder (or order murdered) POWs and civilians, who rape and pillage their way across continents. They are also to be remembered, without respect, but as a reminder of how low humanity can descend given the opportunity.

Matari
17th Nov 2013, 21:06
So to summarize PTT's apparent worldview, all sides are equally evil, nobody fights for a good cause, and although he choses to live and (presumably prosper) in the freedom of the West, he holds the West in contempt for the condition of the rest of humanity.

radeng
17th Nov 2013, 21:17
VC10,

I have found very little about Stewardess Owen: I keep meaning when in Swindon to see if the 'Steam' Museum of the GWR has anything about her - I know the NRM in York doesn't. There's also very little about her in the GWR war history.

Very sad her heroism is largely forgotten.

I still feel that enough Stewardesses on the sea and in the air have shown so much bravery and devotion to duty that the title should be retained by the airlines as a mark of respect.

PTT
17th Nov 2013, 21:40
Matari, do you enjoy building strawmen? I said nothing that you use in your erroneous "summary". I didn't say all sides were equally evil, or that nobody fights for a good cause. I said that both sides had men who were good and men who were bad on them. If you want me to comment on a specific conflict rather than talking about my opinion on remembrance day specifically then I will do so, but I do not hold "the West in contempt for the condition of the rest of humanity", nor am I blind to its failings.

Matari
17th Nov 2013, 23:29
Well that's some revelation PTT. Of course the West has many failings. We in the West recognize that people and governments are imperfect. That's why we have (imperfect) checks and balances, rule of law, elections, and methods to hold people to account. Every one of these systems and measures are flawed, in every Western democracy. But it's the best the world has seen, why else would the wretched of the world flock to the West?

The Rape of Nanking...yes, you should read up on it. It was not committed by a rogue unit or misguided platoon. It was a systematic feature of a racist, tyrannical and brutal regime. That's the piece you conveniently fail to grasp.

PTT
18th Nov 2013, 05:59
The Rape of Nanking...yes, you should read up on it. It was not committed by a rogue unit or misguided platoon. It was a systematic feature of a racist, tyrannical and brutal regime. That's the piece you conveniently fail to grasp.Except I'm not. I'm well aware of the brutality of the regimes on the Axis side (and some of the Allies, too). All I've said is that both sides had individual soldiers fighting for them who were what we would consider good men, as well as soldiers who were what we would consider bad men. The good ones are worth remembering with respect, the bad ones worth remembering as a warning. If you or anyone else is insisting that I mean that some sort of vindication of the policies of the governments or regimes involved then I suggest they take remedial reading comprehension classes.

vee-tail-1
18th Nov 2013, 08:42
PTT I don't often agree with your posts, but am 100% with you on this topic. There is an unfortunate mind set, particularly among Americans, to see people as either good or bad. Since in this mind set Americans are always good, then anyone fighting them must by definition be bad.

Never forget the universal rules of war:

Politicians/Leaders lie about the need for war.

Generals lie about the conduct of the war.

Winners use the Geneva convention as an excuse to execute the losers.

The winning side rewrite history to make it seem that a great victory of good over evil has taken place.

Thus truth is the greatest victim in war.

Matari
18th Nov 2013, 10:20
No reading comprehension classes needed. Your oeuvre speaks for itself.

vee-tail...it is most helpful to look evil in the eye and call it what it is. It helps focus the mind, and avoids Chamberlainian moments, and showing up late for the Czechs.

PTT
18th Nov 2013, 11:18
v-t-1 - thank you. It's always good when people who disagree on many things can find some common ground.

No reading comprehension classes needed. Your oeuvre speaks for itself.That it does, although I am yet to be assured on your reading comprehension given your blatantly flawed "summary".
it is most helpful to look evil in the eye and call it what it is.Indeed. You have to be sure to recognise it first, though, and not simply assume it to be there.
It helps focus the mind, and avoids Chamberlainian moments, and showing up late for the Czechs.Irony?

Matari
18th Nov 2013, 12:23
Indeed irony. For those who always accuse others of "showing up late."

MagnusP
18th Nov 2013, 13:31
Coonabarabran NSW, January 1986. Halley's comet is spectacular in the sky. It's also time for the Coonabarabran annual Pastoral, Agricultural and Horticultural (PAH) Show. There are many Japanese tourists in town for the comet viewing, spending lots of $. The town clerk decided it would be a good idea to fly the Japanese flag at the PAH. There was damn near a riot, as the Ozmates remembered the atrocities they and their fallen comrades suffered at the hands of the Japanese.

My mother still sometimes talks of a much-loved cousin who survived the U-boat torpedo attack which sank his (merchant) ship, only to die in the subsequent strafing of his lifeboat.

No, it most certainly NOT time to forget.

arcniz
18th Nov 2013, 13:33
I believe all wars should be remembered, chronicled, and continuously revived for personal and public memory for the span of at least several thousand years past.

Why forget what has been learned from such misery and destruction, caused most often by small circles of instigators with the skill to leverage their misery onto and through otherwise peaceful populations? War is an ancient curse that keeps on giving, keeps on taking, and seems immune to all the collective best efforts of the smartest and most well-meaning humans collectively to prevent.

One has the uncomfortable sense that WW3 is already underway. Not a lot of press releases, nor easily-found targets presented by the initiators, but plenty big consequences waiting for a placid navel-gazing world that does not take seriously enough the destructive potential cadres and cells of malefactors can unleash upon a complacent world with some toys and tricks already not so hard to reach for.

The Nip
18th Nov 2013, 15:34
One aspect oft mentioned is that we should study the past to learn from mistakes made. Hopefully to prevent us making them again.
What have we learnt from these wars? We dont seem to have stopped killing people, no matter who they are and what they have supposedly done.

Matari
18th Nov 2013, 16:43
I think we've learned quite a lot.

We've learned that nations that allow personal freedom and capitalism, have some form of rule of law, that trade together and allow participatory democracy, do not fight each other. The evidence is Europe for the last seventy years or so, and Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and so on. Lucky the dastardly Yanks were left behind to occupy Germany, Japan and Korea. Can you imagine what those countries would have looked like had the Soviets occupied them?

It will be interesting to see how long this is sustained, and who fills the vacuum when Europe gets what they think they want...a weak US.

Ancient Observer
18th Nov 2013, 16:53
I feel a rather long rant coming on.

My Dad went off to North Africa in 1939. He fought there until that part of the war was over.
The powers that be decided that he had not had enough, so they sent him to Italy, and then France.
Then, as he had joined as a regular soldier, and not as some sort of conscript, they sent him off to Palestine to "keep the peace". Both lots shot at him, there.

He said very little about the war. He said it was not very pleasant to see one's best mates die every day.

His brother was a Captain in the Commandos, left behind at Dunkirk to keep the Germans from the beaches. He succeeded, but then spent the war in pow camps.

Mum was bombed out of her home a number of times. (Some of it to do with false info given to the launchers of V1s and V2s about where they were landing)

I could go on, and on, and on.

Does anyone seriously suggest that I should forget all about this stuff???????????????

chuks
18th Nov 2013, 21:12
Isn't it over and done with, so to speak? What, do you want to do a little bit of remembrance over the Weetabix, every morning, have a good moan about the injustice of it all? Far better to focus on the many positive things that life has to offer, compared to war.

General William T. Sherman may never actually have said "War is hell," but he certainly did write that "War is unspeakable cruelty and you cannot refine it."

Sherman was noted for his dislike for parades and such, despite being perhaps the foremost American warrior of his generation, and we might want to take a hint from that.

Rant away if you must, but please do not feel hurt when you find that nobody really will want to listen to you.

mikedreamer787
19th Nov 2013, 00:09
War remembrance events are viewed by those who were
on the outside looking in, and by those who were inside
looking out. I take my cue from the latter.

Remembrances need not be just in the form of parades.
Two latter day (and very good IMO) series for example,
The Pacific and Band of Brothers, are remembrances in
their own right. There were, and still are nearly 70 years
later, nations who are hell bent on War and domination.
Overtures of peace is perceived by them a weakness to
be exploited to the fullest, and Diplomacy a tool with
which to prolong a crisis. Eventually war will become an
inevitable conclusion if democratic nations lie down and
stick their heads in the sand.

Remembering those who fought and died so that we can
enjoy the freedoms we have today must never ever be
forgotten. They fought the bestial cruelty of the Japs and
the discovery and freeing of the extermination camps of
the Nazis. They're but two examples of what good men
accomplish when something IS done to confront evil. To
forget that is to accept whatever future actions are done
by nations who view democracy and peace as abhorrent
and insist on their eradication.

reynoldsno1
19th Nov 2013, 00:15
My father's father survived the 1st World War after serving with the Machine Gun Corps in Gaza. He was 41 when demobbed, and could not return to his own hairdressing & tobacconist business after the war. He died at 56 from a botched bowel operation. My Dad served with the RAF, starting in France in 1939, where he killed several Germans, was wounded and awarded the Croix de Guerre. His younger brother died in a Mosquito nightfighter in Normandy in 1944. I have spent many years gathering information and material on their lives throughout those dark times . Dad's view was that the world must never let it happen again - that's why we must not forget.

My daughter has been told all of this, and will be left the memorabilia when I am gone. It is unlikely it will have the same meaning to her, but I hope she will understand its significance. She will be the first generation of the family to have no direct connection with a World War. As that disconnection grows, I fear that awareness of the dangers of a third world war will , ipso facto, decrease. I hope I am wrong.

SASless
19th Nov 2013, 00:32
Chuks Laddy,

Quoting Sherman is not exactly something that will endear you to some of us.

Will Rogers summed it up when he said we cannot all be Heroes....as someone has to sit on the curb and applaud and cheer!

I do believe it was Marine General Smedley Butler who had the most keen insight into why we fight Wars....and he was all against it.

An example of how Commemoration can cut both ways.....at the Gettysburg Cemetery (150 Anniversary of Lincoln's Address coming up), the grave markers are for Union Dead alone.....not one Southern is buried there.

While perched there on the wall right at Sunset one evening....three old fellows from somewhere near Jersey City or Brooklyn found their way down to where I was located. As they walked up they were talking about what a fine tribute the Cemetery and Monuments were, saying things like gallantry, sacrifice, and the like.

When I reminded the I saw things from a slightly different perspective....and that what I saw was a very fitting tribute to Southern Marksmanship.....I got the distinct impression the War was about to break out again on that very spot.

Commemoration has more than a single perspective I guess.



War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935 (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html)

obgraham
19th Nov 2013, 01:11
Sasless, sometimes things are best left unsaid!

chuks
19th Nov 2013, 07:07
Sherman sorted out a certain amount of local trouble once, and it's stayed sorted, aside from the odd traffic ticket handed out to some Yankee smart-arse now and then. What is not to like about that?

I was struck by the monuments at the state capitol, Little Rock, Arkansas. There was, as far as I recall, one to the Sorrowing Mothers of the Confederacy, one to Our Gallant Confederate Dead, yet another one to something or other else related to the Rebel side of things... but no particular sense of the place belonging to the United States of America.

One got the feeling that if only those happy darkies had continued to beat they feets on that Mississippi mud while strumming they banjos, all would be well with the South and the world.

"Ah, BS!" was all I could think about that, because we had a big fight, the South lost, and then they had to change their way of doing things. Absent war, would that have happened? Well, who knows? Harping on about it, though, especially having been on the losing side, seemed a bit odd.

In the same way, re-fighting the Vietnam War... can you think of a bigger waste of time? I cannot. Let Hanoi Jane and his/her ilk have that one.

mikedreamer787
19th Nov 2013, 11:15
While the US fought a war of attrition the NVA fought a war primarily based on Sun Tzu principles and tactics. That meant the fight was going to be close, except for the interference of politicians et al which virtually sealed the failure.

Lightning Mate
19th Nov 2013, 15:30
Is it time to forget about 1st and 2nd World War.



NO.........

John Hill
19th Nov 2013, 17:42
If you want to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past be ever wary of excessive glorification of all things military.

Krystal n chips
19th Nov 2013, 18:00
" and not as some sort of conscript "

As disparaging comments go, the above really is very high in terms of sheer arrogance.

Conscripts ?.....ah yes, that would be those who swelled the ranks of the regular military in time of war, and who otherwise would have been able to live peaceful lives through choice.

Lets see.....Grandfather...CSM in the Cameronians "mentioned in dispatches" during one of the "lets just butcher a few thousand conscripts in France" events.

Father....Signal Corps..Eygpt, Palestine, Iraq and Germany, the original "Club Med 18-30" tour.

Uncle.....went for a swim at Dunkerque....decided it was much warmer in Burma thereafter.

Uncle....doing some sun bathing in Singapore....got bored so decided to work for Japan Rail Corporation.

Should we forget the loss of life on ALL sides ?.....NO.

Should we commemorate them....YES.

Should we stop making and showing endless war films glorifying war, endless documentaries about wars.....YES.

Just one other little point.....last time I looked, the War Graves made no distinction between regular and conscript.

Matari
19th Nov 2013, 18:16
Maybe it started with tight-legged Lysistrata, but certainly modern anti-war satires like Catch-22, Slaughterhouse Five and MASH have helped to humanize war. If we are to forget wars, are we to forget the classic satires as well?

No, let's not forget. There's no reason to glamorize the horrors of war, but let's certainly not stop watching the documentaries of the cheerful German kids, with their smartly combed blonde hair, saluting obediently at the Führer.

One of the great strengths of the west is that we can fight a war, make fun of our leader at the same time, win the war, then toss the leader out in the next election.

In order to get there, you need it all: remembrance, satire, honesty, and an understanding of human brutality.

Lightning Mate
19th Nov 2013, 18:42
If you want to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past be ever wary of
excessive glorification of all things military.

You sirry pirrock !!

BenThere
19th Nov 2013, 20:26
One of the great strengths of the west is that we can fight a war, make fun of our leader at the same time, win the war, then toss the leader out in the next election.

In order to get there, you need it all: remembrance, satire, honesty, and an understanding of human brutality.

Profound, Matari. :ok::ok:

reynoldsno1
19th Nov 2013, 23:35
let's certainly not stop watching the documentaries of the cheerful German kids, with their smartly combed blonde hair, saluting obediently at the Führer.

"Die Bruche" is a 1959 German film set in the 2nd World War, apparently based on true events. It is a very intense depiction of why war is not glorious. It is also a tremendous piece of cinema. Watch - it makes a lasting impression.

Cacophonix
19th Nov 2013, 23:46
I love thinking about the 2nd world war... mein Gott...

Reminds me of the old South Africa...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1sEt3NjHNA

Caco

John Hill
20th Nov 2013, 01:06
Lighting Mate wrote You sirry pirrock !!

Thank you for the kind words and for demonstrating my point.:p

KBPsen
20th Nov 2013, 01:22
'Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.'Another cliche that pretends to be profound.

I am fairly sure that history, and wars in particular, have been recorded and retold for thousands of years. I am also fairly sure that wars have been a repetitious affair for an equal length of time.

The dead don't care so all this remembrance is for the living. Mostly it is about sentimentality, self-pity and making sure that there are enough volunteers to be the next ones to be remembered.

John Hill
20th Nov 2013, 03:21
It is also about gaining some advantage for those who 'served' and in some cases only claimed to have served.

PTT
20th Nov 2013, 05:03
I think the accurate quote is "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (George Santayana). Recording it is not the same as remembering it, and if those who make decisions fail to remember it then they are at risk of making the same mistakes. The wheel turns...

tdracer
21st Nov 2013, 04:55
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


War is certainly a horrible thing nearly beyond comprehension. Sometimes the alternative is worse.


I suggest some of you that no longer thing WWII is relevant watch some of the documentaries on the 'Rise of the Third Reich'. Even knowing the story, I still find it stunning how quickly an ostensibly democratic Germany turned into a Nazi dictatorship that murdered people by the millions.


And anyone that says "that couldn't happen again" is simply validating "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

paulc
21st Nov 2013, 06:45
I know that in the dutch town of Arnham, local families 'adopted' the graves of many fallen soldiers after WW2 to look after them. That responsibilty has been handed down to the following generations - a nice touch to see that at least there they will be remembered.

John Hill
21st Nov 2013, 07:32
I suggest some of you that no longer thing WWII is relevant watch some of the documentaries on the 'Rise of the Third Reich'. Even knowing the story, I still find it stunning how quickly an ostensibly democratic Germany turned into a Nazi dictatorship that murdered people by the millions.

Knowing the history will do very little if anything at all towards stopping such a thing happening again. If you doubt me just consider the changes we have seen in western countries in the last two decades.

parabellum
21st Nov 2013, 07:43
I know that in the dutch town of Arnham, local families 'adopted' the graves of many fallen soldiers after WW2 to look after them. That responsibilty has been handed down to the following generations - a nice touch to see that at least there they will be remembered.

Definitely so. In many of the towns around and including Arnham the Dutch school children take on the responsibility of caring for the graves and as the children grow up they pass on their duties to the younger children coming behind them.

Wingswinger
21st Nov 2013, 11:54
Forget about WWI and WWII?

Along with every war and battle fought in the British Isles or by the peoples of the British Isles, the Empire ( Commonwealth) and allies from Mons Graupius (look it up) to Afghanistan?

Don't be silly.

ExRAFRadar
21st Nov 2013, 12:27
Should we stop making and showing endless war films glorifying war

Think you will have to back a long way to find a film that glorifies War.

John Wayne in Green Berets was probably the most tactless piece of propaganda I have ever seen. The ending is simply cringe worthy.

Recently watched Oh What a Lovely War. Sat there gob smacked at some of the scenes, and the ending... Just go find it on YouTube

pvmw
21st Nov 2013, 12:47
...........and the ending... Just go find it on YouTube
The ending is memorable. What makes it more so is it was made long before CGI was invented, all those crosses were planted by hand on the South Downs.

Last few minutes (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDgQtwIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D4RJCSMG1yTE&ei=fw-OUvyDHuOV7Ab4lIGoAQ&usg=AFQjCNEN7ZXvhZYoowpqMheuDUek5dhDCQ&bvm=bv.56988011,d.ZGU)

......but if you've never seen it, go and watch the entire film.

RJM
21st Nov 2013, 12:58
Is it time to forget about the 1st and 2nd world wars?

My grandad has, and he was in both of them!

But seriously folks...


Seriously, we are historically still in the shadow of both of them, especially WWII. Its repercussions still affect us. Look at the makeup of the UN Security Council permanent 5.

If we have to live with those repercussions, we have to understand how they came about.

As to films - there are some pretty good stories in those wars. What are you going to do - censor film scripts? That's the sort of thing the wars were against!

pvmw
21st Nov 2013, 13:15
I watched a documentary earlier in the week about excavation of trenches on the Messines ridge (where the Allies tried to achieve a breakthrough by tunnelling under the German lines and planting mines). The state of preservation was remarkable, but was, er.... interesting, is that there is still a mine in situ that was abandoned and never exploded.

It is right under a modern farm complex - and consists of 25 TONS of Amanol. That'd make one hell of a bang! On the upside, I guess if it ever were to go off the inhabitants are unlikely to know much about it!!!