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Which war do you like better, WWI or WWII?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Reginleif, Feb 12, 2011.

?

Which World War was better?

  1. WWI

    22 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. WWII

    51 vote(s)
    58.0%
  3. Other (please explain)

    15 vote(s)
    17.0%
  1. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    While, equally, a lot of the nominal good guys' motivation can be summed up as "defending the empire". If it had been the thoroughly anti-fascist war that we are told it is, it would probably have begun some time before September '39.
     
  2. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    It was said in Hot Shots: Part Deux "War is fantastic."
     
  3. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Not having read the thread. How can you like Wars? How can you "prefer" one over the other? Now, to be interested in it historically, ok. But like? Come on...

    So my answer is none. I don't like wars. And I rather we could discuss other aspects of history more in school.
     
  4. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    WWI then? Well, I guess the bad guys beat the bad guys in that one.


    @Mitsho- I think it means historical interest.
     
  5. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    The thread isn't really worth reading, largely due to posts like this, where half of the forum (at least) seems to have the need to say "well wars suck gaise" instead of answering the damn question. To all intents and purposes, the OP was basically asking which war you thought was more interesting.
     
  6. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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    The question seems to be badly phrased, as it implies that wars are good.
     
  7. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Of course it does. As was blatantly obvious from the OP, he was trying to be amusing.

    Of course, it's probably asking too much of CFCOT to try to get you people to transcend a crummy OP and turn a thread into something at least kind of worthwhile, especially since at least 50% of the opportunities for humor were exhausted by the OP himself.
     
  8. Docfeelgood

    Docfeelgood Chieftain

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    I find the WWII Pacific war fascinating.
    What with the Japanese code of bushido.
     
  9. Communisto

    Communisto Condottiere

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    Indeed, in many, many respects the BE could have easily stood toe to toe with the 3rd Reich.

    From a practical standpoint however, I think WWII can be looked at as one of the most necessary wars in history. Not from a Democracy vs Fascism standpoint, but as the conflict that put one of the last nails in the coffin of European imperialism and hegemony, which had reached its unfeasible pitch. In that sense, the war absolutely had to happen for the world to move past this period of development. Also, depending on your views of nuclear weaponry as a deterrent vs instrument of horror, other benefits could be construed.

    I tend to subscribe to the theory of both WWs being parts of the same protracted conflict. Being the fragile European power system coping with the introduction of a unified, industrialized German state. (I know there were a myriad of other causes, but this is at the core, imo.)
     
  10. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    How Whig of you.
     
  11. Communisto

    Communisto Condottiere

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    dachs this is where youre supposed to discuss :p
     
  12. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Yeah, that whole samurai revivalist thing is very interesting. The only real parallels outside of Japan are some of the Nazi attempts to mould the SS into a new Teutonic Order, and they were considered a bit odd even within the Third Reich itself.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, there was also a Scottish commander who insisted on leading every engagement equipped with a claymore and bagpipes. :crazyeye:

    I agree that WW2 was an essentially imperialistic war, but it can it really be said to represent the culmination of a single "European imperialism"? Even if we generalise, there were two pretty distinct forms of imperial program, the maritime program of Britain, France, Germany, etc. and the land-based programs of Austria and Russia, both of which were essentially continued after the collapse of the old empires, in modified forms, by the US and the Soviet Union. (Specifically, American neo-colonialism essentially replaced European bureaucrats with Europeanised natives, something that the Europeans had been tentatively investigating themselves, while the Soviet program was more or less a re-working of Tsarist pan-Slavism.) To me, what you call the "nail in the coffin" really seems to represent the polarisation of these two programs.
     
  13. Communisto

    Communisto Condottiere

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    I didnt really mean to infer that imperialism had been a homogeneous institution. Rather that the events of 1914-45 were partly the result of those systems reacting to the relatively rapid development of Prussia and later Germany to insert itself into a complex balance of power which Europe had been striving for since the end of Napoleon. A balance which could hardly have been able to maintain itself as a new power actively sought to improve its standing at the expense of the others. (and not that Germany was constantly on the offensive trying to upset the peace, equally Britain and Frances paranoia about any kind of shift was equally conducive)

    I think youre missing the effect that this shift in methods had on the psychology of Europe and what it meant for the world. The Cold War is something altogether different from the zenith of Europe's hegemony over the Africa and Asia, and that the mere fact that the world was and could no longer be centered around the whims of the powers you listed was big step for the world. Before the end of the second world war and to a lesser extent the first, it had been assumed and believed that the European power system would continue infinitely with minor alteration. The destruction of Europe served to eradicate that as a viable future, both for the European nations themselves and their former colonies. Was it a complete switch over to self determinism and an end to all sorts of imperialism? No, but even the polarization you described is massively important and vital to change, imo.

    A rose by any other name.
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Isn't the idea of a "balance of power" held by historians to be a bit outdated? Dachs will doubtlessly be able to explain it better than I can, but I'm lead to understand that this is primarily British (and to a lesser extent, American) view of world politics, emerging out of an exceptionalist attitude towards European politics which emerged after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. The French and the Germans, who did not view themselves so removed from continent as the British did, envisioned no grand goal to their power struggles, beyond the fulfilment of (perceived) national interests.

    Well, certainly, the shift from Western European hegemony in the global South was an important change, I just don't think it was a revolutionary one. While formal Western imperialism declined, this didn't lead to a fundamental redistribution of power outside of the global North, just a shift in focus within it, between nation-states (i.e. from the colonial powers to the US and the USSR) and within the nation-state (i.e. towards lessened state direction in the West and towards even greater state direction in the USSR). In particular, the Global South was still kept under largely US/Western influences, maintaining an exploitative relationship through less direct means. The beginnings of truly fundamental change- the development of significant industry in the global South, and so the end of a relationship based on a fairly uniform exchange of natural resources from the South for manufactured goods from the North- only developed later, and for largely different reasons.
     
  15. Communisto

    Communisto Condottiere

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    Quite possibly (to your first sentence)*.

    Though I think there is something to be said about it, especially since as the foremost global player, Britain had been actively attempting to maintain a relative status quo which sought to restrict the national interests of nations like Germany so long as those interests conflicted with their own (Germany's attempt at becoming a naval power, etc). When you not only upset that status quo, but totally smash it to bits as did the WWs, you leave a lot of room for change, especially in the minds of the people in colonial regions. In the 19th century, Europe was thought to be morally, racially and inherently the master of the world. The WWs showed the world that not only was that not true, but the very concept as it could be applied to any culture was fundamentally suspect.

    But its important to remember that the fundamental change you are talking about was completely unrealistic pre-1900, and would have never come about had Europe remained as entrenched in those areas of the world. Removing that entrenchment I think, is the first step toward a world without a political epicenter. I think that is how the war is (or at least should) be remembered to future generations, not the "anti-fascist crusade" lie that you yourself pointed out before.

    *Though, would France's courtship of Russia in WWI be anything but a measure against Germany? Someone throw up the Dachs signal.
     
  16. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Was there ever a stable status quo, though? Britain certainly tried to engineer one, but it's really hard to characterise such a thing existing without over-simplifying the history of 19th century Europe. The German Empire didn't simply spring to life overnight, after all, but had been continuously on the up since the fall of Napoleon. Rivalry between France and Germany was, by 1914, more well-established as the statu quo than any sort of peaceful co-existence.

    That's true from a European perspective, and I suppose it certainly fed greatly into Western anti-imperialism, but I'm not sure how much relevance that has to the distribution of power. Aside from anything else, the USA and the USSR continued to claim an objective superiority, they merely did so on ideological grounds (although still often flecked with racism, particularly in the United States), rather than on grounds of any innate cultural or biological superiority.

    The decentralisation of power since WW2 seems to have resulted more fundamentally from technological and economic conditions than political ones. In particular, industrial development in the global South has very been undertaken by Western capital, rather than any indigenous entity, suggesting that it simply became more in the interests of private business for the older colonial relationship to be gradually broken down, to whatever extent it has been. While it's certainly true that imperialism stifled economic development in the global South- one of the great perversities of British involvement in India is that we actually managed to leave the country relatively less industrialised than when we found it- I'm not sure that the industrial development which later occurred in the global South was sufficiently based on native investment to say that it was the natural result of the withdrawal of the colonial powers. It could well have occurred with the empires still in place, and it's even possible that it could have been more effective- native populists always gave Western capital a greater headache that resistance in the imperial nations themselves; Nasser was more of a pain than Scargill, as it were.
     
  17. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Well, Dachs, there really isn't much of a discussion for me. WWII is oversaturated as part of pop culture, and trends, in common knowledge, to be a war of "tanks and good guys and bad guys", and moreover takes place in a time period that I really couldn't care less about. WWI suffers from the same (albeit generally more muddled) types of misinterpretations and broad generalizations, but doesn't suffer from the same disgusting oversaturation as WWII, and moreover has the boon of far more interesting (to me) political context, particularly in its lead up, and operates in a time period which I find considerably more interesting. As such, there's not really much of a toss-up for me, leaving the inevitable result of this thread being a series of face-palms as I reel at the horrible generalizations made about both wars.

    Now if this thread were about time-periods I actually had an interest in, it might be a thread I would pay attention to, and thus, post meaningful discussion in, but alas, such is cfcot.
     
  18. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Yeah, it's such a shame that they put the "Start New Thread" button in <brigadoon> tags. :mischief:
     
  19. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    So basically what you're saying (and what every other WWI guy is saying) is that WWI is better/moar interesting because it isn't as popular as WWII?

    What's next, raving about a super cool war that I've probably never heard of? You sound like a bunch of hipsters :p
     
  20. aukrest

    aukrest History Buff

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    Of both wars I find the causes leading up to both of them and then the after affects of each war more interesting than the war itself. That being said I do like World War I better because I find it a lot more interesting in just how everything went about. On top of that is the fact that World War II has been beaten to death, is uninteresting and I see nothing to learn about it. I also see that the evil of World War II would have not in any ways happened if the events of World War I did not take place.
     

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