WTF Moments in History

Discussions regarding actual culture and history of Earth.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by eldin raigmore » 15 Oct 2011 20:56

cybrxkhan wrote:
rickardspaghetti wrote:I wonder how the world would have changed if Germany actually did win WWI. Back then they weren't Nazis, right?
Yeah, the Germans definitely weren't Nazis in WWI. It's an unfortunate misconception people still have. While I can understand why someone would think WWII as a good vs. evil war (though I'll have reservations on that), WWI was definitely not a good vs. evil war. WWI, from what I learned, was definitely a war where either side could have won.
Not Nazis, no; but they were Prussian militarists. The militarism of Berlin before WWI was every bit as alarming to other Europeans then as the Nazism of the Nazis before WWII.
The Japanese of pre-WWII deliberately followed "the Prussian model".

Stuff like official anti-Semitism and concentration camps (actually invented by the U.S. in the Spanish-American war, by the way) and death-camps (not an American invention AFAIK; don't know who invented them, maybe the Nazis?) were not part of the German psyche in WWI and before; but to pretend that the pre-WWI Prussians and the Germans of WWI were some kind of model of humaneness and civility and sweet reasonableness is just plain contrary to fact. They were scary compared to other countries of that time. If they hadn't been there wouldn't have been a WWI.

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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Darkgamma » 15 Oct 2011 20:57

rickardspaghetti wrote:
Darkgamma wrote:
rickardspaghetti wrote:I wonder how the world would have changed if Germany actually did win WWI. Back then they weren't Nazis, right?
Nazis came because of WWI failures.
Had the Kaiser won in 1915, the February and October revolutions would have been stomped since Russia would've had more troops than it did in 1917 (it even dropped out of the war due to the revolution)
Right. Is it possible a German victory in WWI would have been better considering WWII? If the Nazis never came about or at least didn't come to power, how many lives could not have been saved? But perhaps then WWII could have come about for different reasons and be just as devastating even without the holocaust?
Wow, I really shouldn't get into this discussion. I know far too little really, and this is definitely the wrong place to have one. The thread will get clogged and locked in a flash and I might be held responsible. Please forgive me, aszev!
I'm going to say one more thing and we move on:
Spoiler:
Given a Austro-German victory in WWI, the balance of power would tilt into German hands. Many of the English and French colonies would trade hands and go to Germany. Nazis wouldn't come to power, Hitler would become a mediocre artist, Himmler would've been a Bavarian noble, and we wouldn't have the Panzer Theory, made by Guderian, which paved the way to modern tank formations and designs. Germany, with more colonial might than before, would effectively have its golden years which would last at least into the 60's, and when the colonies rebel, the majorly German colonies would be peacefully cleared of blacks by deporting them to other colonies. German colonists would most likely be transported to these hubs of "Germanity".
The empires would remain to this day. Germany, AH, Russia, England and Turkey would probably still be empires.
The world would be a weirder place.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by rickardspaghetti » 15 Oct 2011 21:00

Wow! O_O
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俺はその証だ。
Spoiler:
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by cybrxkhan » 15 Oct 2011 21:12

eldin raigmore wrote:
cybrxkhan wrote:
rickardspaghetti wrote:I wonder how the world would have changed if Germany actually did win WWI. Back then they weren't Nazis, right?
Yeah, the Germans definitely weren't Nazis in WWI. It's an unfortunate misconception people still have. While I can understand why someone would think WWII as a good vs. evil war (though I'll have reservations on that), WWI was definitely not a good vs. evil war. WWI, from what I learned, was definitely a war where either side could have won.
Not Nazis, no; but they were Prussian militarists. The militarism of Berlin before WWI was every bit as alarming to other Europeans then as the Nazism of the Nazis before WWII.
The Japanese of pre-WWII deliberately followed "the Prussian model".

Stuff like official anti-Semitism and concentration camps (actually invented by the U.S. in the Spanish-American war, by the way) and death-camps (not an American invention AFAIK; don't know who invented them, maybe the Nazis?) were not part of the German psyche in WWI and before; but to pretend that the pre-WWI Prussians and the Germans of WWI were some kind of model of humaneness and civility and sweet reasonableness is just plain contrary to fact. They were scary compared to other countries of that time. If they hadn't been there wouldn't have been a WWI.
I wasn't implying that they were a model of humaneness and civility (as you probably already know). However, to me, WWI was really more like a group of colonial powers against another group of colonial powers, pure and simple. The claim that the allies were "good guys" is dubious at best when you realize that they had on their side the Russians (considered to be one of the most autocratic European countries at the time), the Belgians (Leopold II, anyone?), and not to mention Britain and France weren't angels either - they were big, big colonial powers who weren't the nicest, either, and they also wanted to protect their interests as well. I guess it is true that the Central Powers were "more" autocratic on the whole than the Allies, but it's not really that drastic of a difference.

I think my ultimate point here is that whatever the factions of WWI were like, it definitely, definitely was not as black and white as WWII - not even close.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by eldin raigmore » 15 Oct 2011 21:16

cybrxkhan wrote:I wasn't implying that they were a model of humaneness and civility (as you probably already know). However, to me, WWI was really more like a group of colonial powers against another group of colonial powers, pure and simple. The claim that the allies were "good guys" is dubious at best when you realize that they had on their side the Russians (considered to be one of the most autocratic European countries at the time), the Belgians (Leopold II, anyone?), and not to mention Britain and France weren't angels either - they were big, big colonial powers who weren't the nicest, either, and they also wanted to protect their interests as well. I guess it is true that the Central Powers were "more" autocratic on the whole than the Allies, but it's not really that drastic of a difference.

I think my ultimate point here is that whatever the factions of WWI were like, it definitely, definitely was not as black and white as WWII - not even close.
Autocracy was the order of the day on both sides. As you point out a case can be made that the Allies were even more autocratic than the Entente. It wasn't their autocracy that made the WWI Prussians exceptional; it was their militarism.

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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by cybrxkhan » 15 Oct 2011 21:32

eldin raigmore wrote:It wasn't their autocracy that made the WWI Prussians exceptional; it was their militarism.
Fair enough. Although from what I know, the militarism was the result of Germany's desire to raise themselves to the level of Britain and France, so to speak.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by eldin raigmore » 15 Oct 2011 21:39

cybrxkhan wrote:Fair enough. Although from what I know, the militarism was the result of Germany's desire to raise themselves to the level of Britain and France, so to speak.
Being in Mitteleuropa instead of having an Atlantic coast put them even further behind the Western European powers than those were behind the British. I suppose militarism was the only way they could think of to catch up. In effect Hitler was still talking about that in WWII.

{EDIT}:
Well, it has a North Sea coast, but the Dutch and the Danes could keep them pretty well bottled-up if they wanted to co-operate to do so, unless the Germans conquered them -- which they did.
The German islands in the North Sea are very important linguistically to English speakers, btw.
{/EDIT}

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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Ollock » 08 Nov 2011 21:51

Lets see, I can think of a few:

Modern China
Chiang Kai-shek slaugtering Communists that were helping him -- several times!
Chiang Kai-shek's non-resistance to the Japanese
(the below will show that I am not a Chinese Communist)
The Great Leap Forward -- if you don't know about it, look it up. It is quite possibly the worst economic blunder in recent history!
The violent phase of the Cultural Revolution -- trying to destroy your own party by giving guns to middle- and high-school students and creating chaos --- hmm ... Mr Mao you are an idiot!
The Tian'anmen incident. For those who don't know, understand that the crackdown took place at a time when the whole world was watching a summit between China and the USSR
Pre-2008 Olympics snafus -- particularly in Tibet. Though they managed to mitigate the impact much better than they did in 1989

Mexico
Both attempts to form an empire

Spain
Not from any individuals stupidity/hubris/etc -- but the crusade to reconquer the peninsula took eight hundred years!?
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by cybrxkhan » 09 Nov 2011 02:28

Ollock wrote: Spain
Not from any individuals stupidity/hubris/etc -- but the crusade to reconquer the peninsula took eight hundred years!?
The "Moors" weren't exactly wimps, you know... [¬.¬]
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by eldin raigmore » 09 Nov 2011 23:05

It took Mussolini's Fascist Italy six months to conquer Ethiopia. And the Ethiopians only had spears.
WTF?

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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Ànradh » 09 Nov 2011 23:39

eldin raigmore wrote:It took Mussolini's Fascist Italy six months to conquer Ethiopia. And the Ethiopians only had spears.
WTF?
I recall something similar happening with the Zulus and British (I think) riflemen getting slaughtered.
In fact, I've heard people claim that the Zulu's genocidal tendencies pretty much emptied what's now South Africa.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Aszev » 10 Nov 2011 00:05

eldin raigmore wrote:And the Ethiopians only had spears.
No they didn't.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by cybrxkhan » 10 Nov 2011 00:16

Lodhas wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:It took Mussolini's Fascist Italy six months to conquer Ethiopia. And the Ethiopians only had spears.
WTF?
I recall something similar happening with the Zulus and British (I think) riflemen getting slaughtered.
In fact, I've heard people claim that the Zulu's genocidal tendencies pretty much emptied what's now South Africa.
The Zulus beat the British a couple of times due to, from what I've heard, British lack of clear strategy and tactics, good Zulu strategy and tactics, as well as the fact that at the battle of Isandhawana (or whatever it was) the British guns were new and not well tested so that they kept jamming.

Aszev wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:And the Ethiopians only had spears.
No they didn't.
The Ethiopians already had some modern weaponry during the first Italian-Ethiopian conflict. For instance, look at this picture/painting/artwork/whatever from the first conflict, showing that the Ethiopians already had firearms:

Image

Here's a painting of the second Italian -Ethiopian conflict, showing both the Italians and Ethiopians with modern weaponry (granted it's obviously an exaggeration to some extent, but it does prove, I think, that the Ethiopians at least weren't your stereotypical spear-wielding tribals):

Image
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by stormcloud » 10 Nov 2011 00:56

The Soviet Union in WWII. Not only did they send people into battle unarmed, they also shot them if, like any sane person would, they tried to run away.

Do all the recent end-of-the-world predictions count as history? Though, people thought the world was going to end back in the year 1000, too.

Also, while we're mentioning the World Wars, how about the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand? I hear there are a bunch of different stories about exactly how it happened, but the general consensus seems to be that the assassins, tried, failed, and then succeeded again because Ferdinand & co. did something less than brilliant.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Ollock » 10 Nov 2011 07:24

cybrxkhan wrote:
Ollock wrote: Spain
Not from any individuals stupidity/hubris/etc -- but the crusade to reconquer the peninsula took eight hundred years!?
The "Moors" weren't exactly wimps, you know... [¬.¬]
True that. But it's not even that. The Moors fractured after the sack of Córdoba, but since the other side really wasn't unified, either, it just ended up a giant mosh of warring kingdoms for hundreds of years. To be honest, the biggest WTF is that anyone ever considers it a single conflict in the first place. If it hadn't been declared a Crusade, and the Christians vs Muslims idea hadn't been a great cultural hook and propaganda tool, people might tend to think of it differently.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Shemtov » 23 Dec 2014 05:41

It's too early to tell what effect, if any, it will have on World History, but damn it, if this whole The Interview thing doesn't qualify as a "WTF Moment" I don't know what does.
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by eldin raigmore » 24 Dec 2014 08:02

I started saying "WTF?" as soon as I saw the ads.
I didn't plan to see the movie. I thought it was in poor taste.
The violent threats from North Korea, though, were not proportional to the offense IMO; at least, not if any of them had been carried out.
I understand certain independent theaters -- less than 10% of Sony's pre-hacking estimate -- will show it anyway.
I still plan not to see it.

I'm reminded of "Death of a Princess". The Saudi government didn't want that film shown. Certain people made sure it was; people who wouldn't otherwise have gone to see it did just because of the controversy. At the Q&A afterward the audience's remarks concentrated on how disappointingly bad the film was; the sponsor was quite put out that they weren't talking about freedom of speech instead.

Critcs who've seen "The Interview" are saying it's not that great a comedy.

In recent years there have been several instances where people confuse bad manners with crime and sin.
"Etiquette" is "ethics in the small". A breach of etiquette is just not worth getting that mad about.
I think making the film was a breach of etiquette.

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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Lao Kou » 24 Dec 2014 08:48

eldin raigmore wrote:Critics who've seen "The Interview" are saying it's not that great a comedy.
What it really needs is an infusion of the comedic stylings of Paulie Shore (in blackface as a Dennis Rodman-esque character -- it'll kill! :roll: ).

I doubt it's going to make it to a cineplex near me any time soon (which is a shame, 'cause I imagine you really need to see it on the big screen), but from the three clips shown in endless loop on the news, I take it it's not going to pass the Bechdel test. [;)]
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Re: WTF Moments in History

Post by Shemtov » 24 Dec 2014 13:40

The true WTFness of it is that the US Government considered the hack a "National Security Threat", and while that may be true, this is all over a movie that is probably not all that good!
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