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As a backup plan he is secretly hoping to avoid the perils of an actual career by becoming a writer and travelling the world. It was, it seemed, a time of great peril, when Britain stood alone against the monstrous tyranny of Nazi Germany.
Few myths are more enduring than those forged in conflict. Stories of the Trojan War, of the three hundred Spartans, of Genghis Khan and Waterloo and Trafalgar—these are some of the most enduring tales in our culture.
Looking at them with a closer eye however, the reputation of these events tends to far exceed the reality. There were, for instance, not just three hundred Spartans guarding the pass at Thermopylae.
Modern estimates put the strength of the Persian army at between 70, andmen, rather than a million. World War Two has long been depicted with a similar narrative—as a desperate, noble struggle waged against seemingly hopeless odds, fighting a tyranny the likes of which the world had never seen.
It seems it is time however, with the Greatest Generation all but gone, to start setting the record straight. Ever since Columbus sailed to the Americas the Great Powers of Europe had been busily sending off expeditions to explore, conquer, pillage and rule every inch of the world they could reach.
Over a four hundred year period from to some three-quarters of humanity either bowed down before the Europeans, or were annihilated for their refusal.
The native peoples of the Americas and Australia were largely wiped out in the process of their lands being colonized while countless ancient states across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia were gradually brought under heel. Sixty million people died of famines during British rule in India.
Millions of Congolese died or had their limbs chopped off working on Belgian rubber plantations.
Tens of thousands died digging canals through Panama and the Suez. By the late 19th century nationalism was a growing movement. In a relatively short period many smaller states unified into a few larger ones.
The First World War is an important chapter here. One may label it an abortive attempt to throw off the stranglehold of the Allied powers. Stalemated on land and blockaded by sea however, Germany eventually lost the war. The few colonies it had gained overseas in the last half century were confiscated by the victors.
Its borders were considerably reduced, its national pride forsaken and its economy artificially crippled. World War Two was a second attempt, though this time formed of a broader coalition including Italy having gained little in the Versailles Treaty and Japan which sought to carve out its own empire in the far east.
While the Axis was able to win a string of stunning victories fromthis was more due to Allied incompetence and complacency than anything else. Even the casual student of history may wonder at how brief the Second World War was. A conflict that killed some million people was over in just eight years dating it from the Japanese invasion of China in — as one should.
Most empires take centuries to rise and fall. Once the Allies began truly mobilizing for war however, the tide quickly turned. The numbers really speak for themselves. Germany, Italy and Japan, plus their allies, had a population in of around million. Over the course of the war they were able to call up some thirty million personnel to fight.
In total the Allies produced overaircraft,tanks, 50, ships and a million artillery guns, vastly higher than all comparable Axis figures. They produced twice as much coal and iron ore and over fifteen times as much oil. This disparity is no accident — the fact that the Allies already possessed these resources is the main reason the war was fought in the first place.
Perhaps the most telling imbalance of all was in sea power. Between them the British, American and French possessed 37 battleships, 12 carriers, cruisers, destroyers and submarines—hardly the armada of a peace-loving coalition.
Axis naval strength was only ever a fraction as great, and steadily eroded as the war went on. When war broke out, Britain began marshaling the full resources of its empire to crush the Axis rebellion. India alone supplied some two and a half million troops, its African colonies over a million and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand some two million more.
This is in addition to the nearly seven million men Britain itself supplied, among others.After being taken down twice by Blogger within a single week, we got the message: It’s Time To Go.
Gates of Vienna has moved to a new address. We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.
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So, what did you do before age 21? Tributes have poured in for the Second World War's youngest Spitfire pilot who joined the RAF at just 18 . TABLE OF CONTENTS. POLICY, POLITICS, WAR, and MILITARY STRATEGY.
by Christopher Bassford • INTRODUCTION: THE STUDY OF STRATEGY.
“IRAN HAS NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told his fellow Russians during his annual Question-and-Answer session on December 3, Only a few days before Putin’s nationwide address, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with threats from Israel on Iran’s nuclear sites.