100 years later - remembering world war 1
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01-02-2014, 06:10 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 05:59 PM)Chas Wrote:  I'm going to have to disagree, somewhat.

It is likely that basic scientific research gets put on hold, but some technologies get a boost. Nylon, sulfa drugs, plastics, ...

But that's just it - some technologies.

Skewed though our perspective is by, especially, the looming influence of WWII in particular, I agree that wartime conditions can admit of a boost to certain narrow areas insofar as they are seen as directly beneficial to the war effort.

The question then is how the general stagnation and disruption compares to the massive influx of resources to the pet projects of the military-industrial complex. I'd still call it a net loss.

But no, it's absolutely true that WWII advanced nuclear technology (among several others) somewhat faster than otherwise.
(but the other standard citations are more arguable - I'd say it delayed jet airplane technology; radar is kind of a wash, given the military advances were at the cost of more general-purpose uses, ie TV broadcasting)

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01-02-2014, 06:17 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 05:26 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  FT I guess nothing advances technology faster than a good war?

Few things advance technology more slowly than war.
(notwithstanding the potential and unrealized contributions of all the people who end up dead)

A relevant example: quantum mechanics was completely put on hold between 1914 and 1920. As was essentially all pure science not to mention all true international communication. Etc.





But I could be really pedantic and say if nothing else it gave us the song...
Tongue

Arguably technology and science advance rapidly in times of war, but in only a very small area.
As one example, I would like to throw ballistics out on the field.

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01-02-2014, 06:55 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
cljr, thanks for the Edwin Starr moment, that is a 45 that is on my wish list.
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02-02-2014, 12:55 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1

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02-02-2014, 12:56 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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02-02-2014, 12:59 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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02-02-2014, 01:22 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
I hope someone will upload all the BBC documentaries to youtube

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02-02-2014, 01:33 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(02-02-2014 12:59 PM)BnW Wrote:  For some reason my response is not coming up. 3rd times a charm?

Your quote tags are broken...

(02-02-2014 12:59 PM)BnW Wrote:  I did forget that Germany stopped paying prior to the Nazis taking over but it doesn't change the point that stopping payment of the reparations was a necessary step towards building up their military.

They did a lot of other things too, including starting government backed airlines that were actually intended to train fighter pilots. Even the Weimar government planned to do some re-arming.

Yes, and in the 20s secretly tested equipment with the Soviets.

I wouldn't particularly say cancelling the third tier reparation payments made too much of a difference. It's not like the UK or France were much hampered by the WWI loan payments they still had to make, as a rough comparison.

(02-02-2014 12:59 PM)BnW Wrote:  My point was that the military spending we were doing at the time was not enough to have any real economic impact. Once we started gearing up for what was obviouslgy going to be another big fight, as well as taking a lot of working age men out of the work force and putting them in the military, the economy took off.

True, but the impetus for the United States to finally gear up for a big fight, as you say, was the fact that said big fight had already started.
Tongue

(02-02-2014 12:59 PM)BnW Wrote:  I disagree on that point. I think the Japanese leadership were fanatics, but they were not stupid. They knew that they did not have the industrial capabilities of the US and they knew they did not have oil production to sustain their efforts. They went into the Asian war, even before Pearl Harbor, with oil to last them for ~6 months and they assumed they would capture oil supplies as they advanced (and they did). With the US, they knew that they had to knock us out early. Their plan was not a sustained war with the US but to hit us once, hit us hard, and hopefully force us to sue for peace right away and stay out of the Asian theater. They knew they were screwed if they fought a war of attrition against the US because, long term, they couldn't sustain it.

Uh... that's precisely what I said?

(02-02-2014 12:59 PM)BnW Wrote:  Who knows. It's impossible to say what would have happened. I do know that when they re-armed the Rheinland in (I think) 1937 they had orders to turn and run if the French engaged them. But, the French did not because they thought the Germans were stronger than they really were. That was one of many fatal mistakes leading up to the war.

1936. Also that they didn't want to fight a war at all.

I find most analysis of the events of the 30s entirely clouded by hindsight bias. We know what the Nazis were capable of. Contemporary figures couldn't possibly know they would never be satisfied. So we can call it a fatal mistake, but only in light of later events.

I would say, for example, that Weimar Germany would have eventually (and by 'eventually' I mean pretty much on the same sort of schedule...) taken some of the same steps: remilitarisation, reforming the navy and air force, reoccupying the Rhineland and Saar. Perhaps some sort of arrangement with Austria. Perhaps even border adjustments in the East. But there would never have been a general war so long as people like, say, Stresseman had remained in charge!

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02-02-2014, 04:26 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
It's impossible to know what could have been. I don't know the Weimer government would have done the same things but they were so reviled that I don't think they would have lasted. If someone had stood up to Hitler before he invaded Poland, maybe things could have been different as well. There is just no way of knowing. It was a very violent time and militarism was on the rise all over the world. The Japenese imperialist thought it was their destiny to rule Asia, and right wing fastist groups in Europe were seizing power in Italy and Spain and eventually Germany. A lot of this was a response to the rise of communism and the violent left. There were so many issues unresolved after WWI it seems like it was inevitable that there would be a 2nd fight.

I've enjoyed this a lot, though (especially the memory jogs - as I get older dates become tougher to recall, especiall for things that I have not studied in a long, long time).

This ha given me an idea for another good history topic, though.

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