This, on the other hand,


makes me want to dig up Lloyd George and stick his head on a spike.

http://britontour9.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/gassed-by-john-singer-sargent/

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14 responses to “This, on the other hand,

  1. Well, the Liberal Party got what it deserved, at least.

  2. The Allies did not invent the gas weapon or bring in, initially, what we now term “weapons of mass destruction”, if that is what we are talking about here. I’m not sure what the difference is between 100,000 gas shells, when compared with 1,000,000 artillery shells fired to pre-registered map-references on a timed pattern, but there we go.

    Lloyd-George carefully pinched the credit – if you can call it that – for the winning of WW1, from the General Staff and the War Office, while getting away later with blaming Haig for being “the butcher of the somme” (and I even have to teach this rubbish) when he as a politican, flanked by military advisers the whole time, knew that if you were containing an enemy with “inside lines”, (and who also had U-boats at your ankles) you had to attack him all the time or go under.

    If the Western Allies had never attacked, when then? What’d have happened to Russia (earlier?) HohenzollerNaziStaliNazis instead of LeniNaziStaliNazis? Which would have been worse?

    I demand a full historical novel on the theme of “Britain DID NOT SEND the BEF to France in 1914″ from Sean!

  3. The real tragedy is of course, that we cannot undo it all and start again….isn’t it.

  4. Arguably, the two halves of the Frankish Empire have been trying to reunify, under the hegemony of one or the other, since it was split in half. Maybe they should. Arguably, with the EU, they have. Which is one of the reasons Britain just doesn’t fit into it very well. France-Germany and satellite states might work, on that basis.

  5. Let’s not pretend the French are Franks.

  6. @Sean….”Yes. I’m sure, with a flash of foreknowledge, the Kaiser would have told the Austrians they were on their own.” …
    Interesting point. The Russians with Sebia would have overwhelmed Austria in a trice, if the Kaiser had stood by. (But he couldn’t could he, for he was chained by that pan-Germanism thing, and his forebears (politically) had f****d Austria “into line” in 1866.)

    But if that had not been, and if the Kaiser had not followed on, then the Balkans (and most of Eastern Europe) would have been Czarist-Russian-dominated since 1914, and where would that have left the LeniNazis? Could Lenin have been left to die in destitution in Switzerland? I do not know. It’s arguable that that would have been a better fate for them that what actually came about, but then…..

  7. Robert Groezinger

    Something of that nature was bound to happen in the second decade of the 20th century. Austria-Hungary was as sure to disintegrate as is a rotten apple hanging on a tree in autumn. And then all hell was going to break loose, with all European powers – drunk with nationalism at the time – fighting for their perceived share of the carcas and a more favourable position after the rebalancing of power. Also Leninsm was going to happen: It was a bad idea whose bad time has come.
    Maybe we should be grateful simply for the fact that Mises survived that inevitable conflagration, despite being posted to the front numerous times.

  8. Robert Groezinger

    I meant to say: whose bad time HAD come.

    • Robert, I agree that differential population growth had made a war between Slav and Teuton hard to avoid. But I still believe it would could have been avoided in the West. All HMG had to do was look the other way.

      I also think peace could have been made in 1916.

  9. It would have been really nice if the Kaiser had not buggered off on his yacht to Norway in June 1914, and had maybe (which he still could have done) made the Austrians see sense about the Sarajevo business, so that the Czar would perhaps not have got so many ants in his pants.

    My problem remains (as a subsidiary one) the matter of why the Kaiser really really wanted all those ships and sumbarines, which he was building like a puffing grampus. He had nothing to send them to, except Tanganyika, a few islands, and what is now Namibia….and that was about it The British Empire was the only possible ultimate strategic object of his attractions here. I’m not saying that we could not in any circumstances come to some sort of accommodaion with Imperial Germany, which was not in fact a particular threat of any sort, and there was no reason to go to war with them at all – but he was the obstacle. He’d been making mischief against us for years – see the Morocco business, the Kruger telegram, the Boer-Woer, and other incidents where it was probably himself whop was trying to “needle” us.

    • The naval race was a serious blunder by the Germans. However, they’d lost this by 1912. Anglo-German relations were excellent until the outbreak of war. No one important realised the importance of submarines until they were used. It only took one player to blink for the July Crisis to fizzle out. since we had nothing to lose by dumping the French, that should have been us. As ever, I blame Winston Churchill.

  10. Sean, you are substantively right, here. But the only problem about the French, should they have persisted in their desire to self-immolate on behalf of Russia, a faraway country of which they really (really) knew little…was that, should they go down (and they would have done in spades rather fast had we not gone in) their entire cosatline would have been in the Kaiser’s possession.

    And of course he had that fleet, whose capital ships were rather better designed for short-range tactical sea warfare that ours, which had to be liveable in for long blue-water-periods, we being a global maritime power.

    Theirs had better watertight compartments with smaller and fewer holes for vulnerable doors (you didn’t need doors if you were only going out to destroy Sunderland and run back past Heligoland again – or erase Portsmouth and run back into Cherbourg over your own waiting sumbarines…) They also had better armour-piercing shells (which would actually explode), and more accurate gunnery-range-clocks: once got the range they could hold it better than we could, although we could get the range faster but have to recompute it each salvo, introducing wasteful errors.

    No, I don’t think that if I was the Admiralty, I’d have wanted the whole of the French Coast to fall under the Kaiser’s and Tirpitz’s domination.