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scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3270
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/17/2023 5:57:55 AM
Percival had "blotted his copy book" in Ireland during the War of Independence. Considering himself some sort counterinsurgency expert, he burned down houses, destroyed crops, had complete disregard for the Irish civilian population and went too far when he started torturing prisoners, some to death.

On the day of the surrender at Singapore, he actually received a telegram offering congratulations and best wishes from all his friends in Tipperary and Cork. The telegram was sent by Tom Hale and Dan Breen - two former IRA brigadiers. Dan Breen had come close to killing Percival in a revenge ambush but his shot just missed him.

My uncle Cyril was captured at Singapore and survived a Japanese POW camp. He was actually RAF ground crew but was in hospital so wasn´t flown out.
When asked how it happened he said it was because a load of horse-faced, gin and tonic swilling, chinless Hoorah Henry officers couldn´t believe that a bunch of slant eyes could possibly defeat the "Empaar".

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/17/2023 7:04:42 AM
Hey guys, topics from 2-16 in history.? Moved from previous page still open for discussions. Anyone??

1804 USN invades Tripoli Harbor, sinks it's own ship!? What happened??

1838 hundreds of Dutch settlers killed by Zulus! What's that about? Anyone??

1861 11 yr old girl tell Lincoln to wear a beard, he follows her advice! He becomes President, keeps it! Comments on the humanity of Abe!? Anyone??

1862 USS Grant capture Ft. Donalson, 12,000 Rebs surrender! Big turning point of the CW in the west!? Comments??

1916 German Official says Germany will pay restitution for the sinking of Lusitania! How did that go over?? What say you??

1923 King Tuts Tomb opened, Howard Carter & others cursed & later die! Do you believe there was a curse?? What say you??

1982 Ocean Ridge Oil Rig lost off Newfoundland 84 die! How did this catastrophe happen?? Anyone??

Carry on,
MD


BTW Trevor, Well said, the Empaar never looked worse!?

Also Brian, astute comments on just what went down in Singapore, thanks!
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6509
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
2/17/2023 7:19:07 AM
Quote:
Percival had "blotted his copy book" in Ireland during the War of Independence. Considering himself some sort counterinsurgency expert, he burned down houses, destroyed crops, had complete disregard for the Irish civilian population and went too far when he started torturing prisoners, some to death.

On the day of the surrender at Singapore, he actually received a telegram offering congratulations and best wishes from all his friends in Tipperary and Cork. The telegram was sent by Tom Hale and Dan Breen - two former IRA brigadiers. Dan Breen had come close to killing Percival in a revenge ambush but his shot just missed him.

My uncle Cyril was captured at Singapore and survived a Japanese POW camp. He was actually RAF ground crew but was in hospital so wasn´t flown out.
When asked how it happened he said it was because a load of horse-faced, gin and tonic swilling, chinless Hoorah Henry officers couldn´t believe that a bunch of slant eyes could possibly defeat the "Empaar".

Trevor


Great anecdotes, Trevor !

These discreditable defeats suffered by the British in the Second World War were infinitely damaging .

Likewise, I think, for France.

Both the British and the French populations escaped the frightful carnage that had afflicted them in the First World War, but the debacles of the earlier phase of the Second were unbearable in terms of loss of prestige. The same could be said of Italy, which had also suffered far heavier loss of life in the First World War.

The story of Singapore still leaves me reeling .

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/17/2023 1:50:37 PM
Quote:
Quote:
1870 last day allowed for US silver coins to circulate in Canada! why? What say you??


Prior to Confederation in 1867, the British provinces in North America operated on different monetary systems. There was no single system adopted by all of the provinces.

British coins were accepted as were American coins and even Spanish coins and Canadian coins from 1858 onward. They were all made of silver and gold so there was value in them. It was a bit of a free for all.

After Confederation, the Dominion of Canada established its own system, a decimal based system, so the country converted to dollars and the lower valued coins. But there was still a lot of American silver in circulation. American traders had been coming north during the civil war and were dropping a lot of American coin in the Canadas and the Maritime provinces and that became problematic for the banks because the face value of the American coins was more than the bulk bullion value. The coins were valued at 2.5% greater than their bullion value.

So the banks would only accept American coin if it was discounted. That became a problem for the merchants who would have to calculate how much to downgrade the American silver. The solution was to eliminate American coinage from circulation as much as possible. At the same time, the new Canada would issue its own coinage.

So the federal government asked the banks to begin collecting the American coin as it came in. The banks were paid a small fee by the government for doing so. Once collected the coins were shipped back to the US for exchange.

To discourage people from bringing US coin back into Canada, the government declared a US coin to be worth 20% less than its face value. This of course was also much less than its bullion value and so there was no percentage in using US coins though it was not illegal to do so.

And with that, Canadian coins became more popular and were used most of the time.

Cheers,

George



Hi George,

Thanks for the great informative response!!

What year was it that US coins were discounted 20% ??

It seems I remember that, in doing my coin exchanges!?

Haven't heard from you in a while??

Regards,
MD

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/17/2023 10:34:13 PM
Quote:
What year was it that US coins were discounted 20% ??


Hi MD,

In 1870 the Canadian government declared that US silver coins were still legal tender but they would be discounted by 20%. This made them worth well below their bullion value. The idea was that merchants would be loath to accept them and Americans disinclined to spend them in Canada.

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/18/2023 7:52:05 AM
On 2-18 the following ocured!

1519 Cortez takes to Mexico over the Indian Civilization! How was he able to conquer it with only a few soldiers? Anyone??

1688 Quakers protest slavery! Why were they so anti slavery so early on??

1861, Jefferson Davis becomes president of the Confederacy! Who would you have picked? Comments??

1865 the Union takes over multiple Southern Forts! Why are they starting to dominate the Rebs? What factors are involved? What say you??

1884 Sir Gordon occupies Khartoum! Were the British being imperialistic?? What happens there? Anyone on this??

1915 the Germans blockade Britain! Was this even close to being effective?? Comments??

1927 US and Canada open diplomatic relations! What was this all about??

1932 Japan taking over SE Asia, why couldn't they be stopped!? What say you??

Any other events? For 2-18 ?
Lots to discuss, any new events??

cheers,
MD

BTW Did the Quakers led the Anti- slavery movement in the US! Wasn't Garrison a Quaker?? Anyone?

Thanks, &
Regards,
MD

Also today in history over 823 British Bombers attacked Berlin! How many returned & how successful was this mission? Was Germany's air defenses on the down swing this late in the war?? Comments please!?
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/18/2023 1:55:26 PM
Quote:
1927 US and Canada open diplomatic relations! What was this all about??


Until 1927 Canada had been represented in Washington by the British Ambassador to the US. So this was something of a milestone though perhaps more a recognition of the autonomy and sovereignty to which Canada had worked toward for decades. Canadians were proud to be members of the Commonwealth but events like WW1 had convinced them that they were deserving of full independence.

Dominion status had come in 1867. July 1, 1867 is the date from which we acknowledge our birth.

But constitutionally we were still tied to Great Britain. Momentous events like WW1 increased the desire for greater and full autonomy.

In 1926, there was a great kerfuffle in Canada when the British born Governor-General Sir Julian Byng attempted to interfere in a Parliamentary procedure. All hell broke loose with many politicians and ordinary Canadians in high dudgeon. Despite acting legally according to the powers granted by the constitution, Byng had taken a step that was found to be offensive. The G-G was to represent the crown but not to interfere in the process of governing, in the view of Canadians.

As a result, the British commissioned a report released in 1926 on the relationship between the crown and the Dominions that became known as the Balfour Report and in that report it was recommended that the Dominions (Aus.,.Canada and NZ) be recognized as equal in status in the Commonwealth to Great Britain. I think that Britain should be commended for this step as it indicated that it understood the heightened levels of nationalism developing within the Dominions.

And with that the US recognized Canada as an independent state and a Canadian, Vincent Massey presented his papers in Washington. He had been appointed by PM William Lyon Mackenzie-King, also a Canadian. So we can see the the independence train rolled rather more quickly after WW1. Massey became the first envoy from Canada ever posted to a foreign country with full diplomatic credentials.

In 1931 the British Parliament passed the Statute of Wesminster which was significant to all of the Dominions as they sought full autonomy. The statute granted full autonomy to the Dominions to govern their own foreign policy except in areas where it specifically requested representation from Great Britain. So the Dominions had all of the powers that they chose to have.

Still it took us until 1982 to patriate our Constitution which had been written in 1867 to create the Dominion of Canada. As such it was an act of a British Parliament and not the Canadian Parliament.
Canada had tried to patriate the constitution before but could never find consensus on how to do so. It was required that the provinces, territories and the federal government agree. In fact, when Queen Elizabeth II and PM Pierre Trudeau did patriate that constitution, Québec had still not agreed.

So here we are. A country created through evolution rather than revolution. One national history of the country has called us a "country by consent" meaning with the consent of the people the government may govern us.

Cheers,

George
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 814
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
2/18/2023 6:10:53 PM
Bon Scott the then lead singer of Oz rock band ACDC passed away 19th Feb 1980.

One of many English emigrants to Australia that forged a successful music career in the working class suburbs and hostels of Australia.

RIP
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1527
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
2/18/2023 10:57:41 PM
Quote:
Bon Scott the then lead singer of Oz rock band ACDC passed away 19th Feb 1980.

RIP


"If you wanna be a star of stage and screen
Look out it's rough and mean
It's a long way to the top
If you wanna rock 'n' roll"



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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/19/2023 8:41:07 AM
Quote:
Canada "country by consent" meaning with the consent of the people the government may govern us.

Cheers,

George




Hi George,

I wish this was more true of the US?

MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/19/2023 2:24:50 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Canada "country by consent" meaning with the consent of the people the government may govern us.

Cheers,

George




Hi George,

I wish this was more true of the US?

MD


Acknowledging of course that no government exists in Canada that has the consent of 100% of the people. As well, our First Nations people dispute whether they ever gave consent to be governed by any other government.

Cheers,

George
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4811
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
2/19/2023 9:02:18 PM
Quote:
As a result, the British commissioned a report released in 1926 on the relationship between the crown and the Dominions that became known as the Balfour Report and in that report it was recommended that the Dominions (Aus.,.Canada and NZ) be recognized as equal in status in the Commonwealth to Great Britain. I think that Britain should be commended for this step as it indicated that it understood the heightened levels of nationalism developing within the Dominions.

George, never feel comfortable raising questions with you Canada posts. But since I don’t know the Balfour Report, are you talking about the final agreements concerning the Commonwealth concept, or earlier versions suggested by various British civil servants, etc. I ask because I seem to remember a group of highly-touted young Brits who, on the strength of their work in creating the Union of South Africa, worked on Commonwealth issues (with the governing body of the Commonwealth permanently located in London), and when the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP) – also an idea supported by this same group – was under discussion, insisted on British instructors on British bases, but on Canadian soil. Mackenzie King made counter-offers, and a federal election in 1940 delayed the development of BCATP until solid Liberal ridings could be rewarded with lucrative bases and facilities.

Point, I guess, is that I have been drawn to believe that Britain was drawn kicking and screaming into entertaining any sense of equal status. I don’t see any need to commend the Brits here; they lost a huge battle and had two hard choices to make. They chose to bow to Commonwealth demands because the alternatives were too scary to contemplate!

So say I in my ignorance . My sources are mostly lost in the mists of time, I’m afraid, though I might recommend a relatively recent volume which touches on aspects of your post. I’m thinking of Norman Rose’s The Cliveden Set: Portrait of an Exclusive Fraternity, Pimlico Press, 2001. I found it a demanding read.

Cheers
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/20/2023 6:55:25 AM
topics on 2-20 in history.? For example,

1823 RN Captain James Weddell explores new areas of Antarctica how would you rate him as an explorer??

1861 the Confederate Navy is formed, how formidable was it!??.. Comments??

1869 KKK crisis in Tennessee! How prominent was the Klan at this time? Comments on why the Klan is so popular? Anyone??

1939 20,000 attend Nazi rally in Madison Square it's the Bund, Nazi American Germans! Scary, were they a threat? Does anyone have a good website or opinion on their movement? What say you??

1827 Race Riots in Cincinnati cause 1000 blacks to leave for parts of Canada! What happened to them? Where did they settle, how did Canada receive them? Comments??

1832 Asian Cholera reaches Quebec! @ 6,000 Canadian people killed! Brought by the Irish!? What's up with that? Anyone??

1944 Battle for Eniwetok, US loses 37 the Japanese over 800 killed! How can this be?? Anyone??

Thanks,
MD

BTW any other important events from other parts of the globe?? Anyone??
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1973
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/20/2023 8:37:42 AM
The USN ran roughshod over the CSN for the most part. Hundreds of new vessels built during the war, most of them of unseasoned timber. In 1866 they were being parked in bywaters and left to rot. Mining the mud for the iron fittings was a past-time for the locals.

Without those ships the Anaconda Plan wouldn't have worked as well.

One often forgotten side effect of the ACW was the development/expansion of the Egyptian cotton industry.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/20/2023 9:53:29 AM
Hello Brian,

The Balfour Report was made at the 1926 Imperial Conference by a sub-committee whose name escapes me but which had been charged to examine the constitutional relationship between the Dominions and the Crown.

There had been a proposal to create a codified constitution that would apply to the whole Empire. This was rejected with the rationale expressed that the Dominions and colonies were very different entities than the Mother Country with different ideas of what should appear in a constitution.

The declaration by former British PM Balfour was a recognition that the Dominions and Great Britain were of equal status in the Commonwealth and autonomous nations. While this happened in 1926, I feel that it was a recognition of what was in practice in the Dominions.

The nations of the Commonwealth, Quote:
"in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united in a common allegiance to the Crown."
. It was PM Mackenzie King of Canada and PM Hertzog of South Africa who pushed for this declaration.

Mackenzie-King of course was motivated by the incident in Canada in 1926 in which G-G Julian Byng attempted to stop M-K from dissolving Parliament. The King-Byng Affair as it was called set the PM off on a mission. You appear to be much more familiar with the influence of British civil servants on this process. I cannot help there.

It was not until 1931 that the British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminster making it possible for the Dominions to officially take control of there own foreign policy. I contend that this was a recognition of the obvious. Canada for one had already refused to send troops to assist in the Chanak Affair of 1922. Canada, as mentioned, had sent Vincent Massey to Washington and he was recognized by the US as our diplomatic representative.

In subsequent Imperial Conference meetings in 1929 and 1930 the legal relationship between the Dominions, colonies and Great Britain was discussed and the Statute of Westminster was the result. So there was discussion between the nations of the Empire to define this relationship between members of the Commonwealth. The statute also dealt with the rules of succession and granted the Dominions the right to amend the rules of succession within their own countries.

RE: BCATP. It has been a while since I read anything of the negotiations between the Dominions and the UK about how to implement and share costs of this initiative. For PM Mackenzie King one of the contentious issues, other than costs, was the British demand that it be permitted to establish Elementary Flying Schools in Canada to operation independently of the BCATP schools. PM M-K was opposed to this.

In 1936 the RCAF had agreed to train a small number of British candidate pilots in Canada

In 1938 the first pilots arrived but the British were already lobbying the Canadian government to permit them to develop training schools in Canada. M-K agreed to permit the schools to be established but refused to allow the RAF to be in control

PM King proposed a deal to the British that would see British pilots trained in Canada but under Canadian control. King was a proponent of Empire but also a Canadian nationalist. I don't suppose that he recognized a conflict there.

The British countered King's offer with their own and said that they would also agree to train up to 300 Canadian pilots if permitted to establish their schools.

King rejected that proposal as he was concerned with Canadian sovereignty. He reiterated that the RCAF would be training Canadian pilots. His offer was for the RCAF to train British pilots only.

When the war began, Canada had already established a training school and were recruiting illegally in the US for American pilots. By December of 1939 the bones of the BCATP agreement had been settled though it would eventually develop that Canada would assume most of the cost of operating the system when it became difficult for Britain to do so.

I know that eventually Canada would agree to allow RAF training schools to transfer to Canadian soil. That was in 1940 and the next year the RAF asked to transfer even more schools.

As I understand it, the original BCATP was to come to an end in 1943 and the British wanted to extend it and wanted to send the rest of the RAF training schools to Canada. They made these proposals in 1942. Canada balked suggesting that the arrival of more RAF schools would overburden the Canadian administrative system. The British objected to seeing their schools absorbed into the BCATP.

In the end, the British bowed to Canada's demands and the BCATP was extended to 1945. As I recall, Canada absorbed more and more costs for administration and machinery needed for the schools. So the RAF schools were incorporated into BCATP for training and administrative purposes. However, the RAF schools were permitted to keep their RAF identities as the British were concerned about morale.

Pardon the details. They simply corroborate your view of the establishment of the plan. However, I have read that the selection of sites for BCATP schools was based upon suitability and had little to do with which party was dominant in a region. Now that sounds rather naive, doesn't it.?

It is interesting to me that this war was prosecuted only after significant negotiations between GB and the Commonwealth. On Canada's part, it was not simply all in, initially. Was that an indicator that the British were forced to consider the opinions of the Commonwealth as a result of the Balfour Report and the Statute of Westminster and significant pushing by the Commonwealth countries?



Cheers,

George

EDIT: The more I think about it, the British decision to comply with Dominion demands for autonomy were probably not praise worthy. However, it does seem that there was recognition that the concept of Empire was changing. And so a push-pull negotiation between Dominions and GB ensued.

EDIT: Much of my information about the negotiations for the BCATP came from on oldie in my personal library by Spencer Dunmore titled, "Wings for Victory: The Remarkable Story of the British Commonwealth Air Training Programme in Canada". The chapter on the genesis of the plan was particularly informative.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1527
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
2/20/2023 12:49:07 PM
Quote:
One often forgotten side effect of the ACW was the development/expansion of the Egyptian cotton industry.


For the life of me I cannot recall where I initially had read about the Egyptian cotton industry and its rise during the ACW, but your posting peaked my curiosity thus, I had to add something to the post.

"In 1861, Egypt had only exported 600,000 cantars of cotton (a traditional measurement equal to about 100 pounds), but by 1863 it had more than doubled this to almost 1.3 million cantars, the New York Times reported at the time. By the end of the 19th century, Egypt derived 93 percent of its export revenues from cotton, which had also become “the major source of income for almost every proprietor in the Delta,” writes Roger Owen in Cotton and the Egyptian Economy."

[Read More]

Dan

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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/21/2023 7:41:09 AM
Hi Dan,

I also have read similar facts on the rise of Egyptian Cotton during the Civil War! The real point being that the South's
embargo of cotton meant to cripple England's textile industry, & therefore pull them into the Civil War failed!

Instead infinite bales sat on wharfs, & warehouses! Their bluff failed, the South for the most part would be on their own in trying to break away from the Union!?

What say you?
Regards,
MD

BTW, Great article, Cotton was king? I heard Egyptian cotton may also have been of a higher quality? Being in the Cotton belt currently, I have driven by numerous cotton fields, even today!?
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/21/2023 7:51:32 AM
Quote from Phil, on today 2-21 being the start of the WWI battle of Verdun! Comments??

Quote:
Ils ne passeront pas !

They shall not pass !

Well, this day must never pass without marking the start of the Battle of Verdun in 1916.

Nothing new to add : a small area of North East France - a sector that extended for a frontage of just a few miles - was pulverised for month after month by tens of millions of shells, which left the battlefield a wilderness of shell holes and created a Golgotha of the putrefying human debris of hundreds of thousands of victims.

Another French rallying cry from this battle - Courage, on les aura ! which might mean, Don’t worry, we’ll get them ! - is also part of the folklore.

Verdun is to France what Stalingrad is to Russia. The latter was renamed Volgograd in an attempt to repudiate the memory of a notorious dictator, but there’s a popular demand to rehabilitate the original name as Putin reasserts Russian claims to glory.

Verdun never carried the same political baggage, apart from its association with Petain, the hero to zero saviour turned collaborationist.

Verdun and Stalingrad rival each other as counterparts from their respective world wars, with their identification with sustained and intense battlefield horrors. Both of them are supreme examples of the symbolic battle and martyrdom.

Regards, Phil


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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/21/2023 7:55:06 AM
And as Brian points out today is the anniversary of the Communist Manifesto! Would you say that Russia for the most part still Communist?? Anyone?

Quote:
On this date in 1848, The Communist Manifesto was published in London. Little regarded at the time, it would become a key document as the 20th century unfolded.

I often wonder how many folks who were raised to loathe and fear Communism ever read this relatively short document?

My copy was printed by Progress Publishers (Moscow) and is undated. At a guess, I bought it in the mid-1960s. It’s a small-format paperback and runs to 102 pages, but 40 of those pages offer prefaces from various international editions, so the manifesto itself runs only some 60 pages. It is shorter in the 1955 edition published by Appleton-Century-Crofts in 1955.

Just musing about how we sometimes comment on history without having read documents which might create history. Primary source material is so … authentic!

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/21/2023 2:49:16 PM
Quote:
I often wonder how many folks who were raised to loathe and fear Communism ever read this relatively short document?


I think that different cultures have different approaches to the teaching of political ideologies. And so while there may be "fear and loathing" in some cultures there may be a cooler and more sanguine analysis and comparison of ideologies. Communism may then be found wanting but not feared.

As well, failure to examine a political philosophy like communism with an academic approach may lead some to conflate communism with any form of socialism including social democracy and democratic socialism.

Having grown up in the Cold War era I was aware of attempts by some politicians to condition us to dismiss communism out of hand, equating it always with the worst of autocratic regimes in all their forms.

So is modern day Russia still a communist country? I would say no since their political system is multi-party. The Communist Party was outlawed when the USSR fell but party with another name rose and many communists joined it. Ostensibly, Russia operates under a democratic Parliamentary system albeit an extremely flawed one indeed.

The leadership of Putin is suspect of course. He has been in power for a long time and has dictatorial powers. He is ably assisted by his team of oligarchs.

The economy is market based which is not the case in a communist system. There is heavy state influence but not full control as I understand it.

There was a great deal of privatization of the economy when the communist system fell but we know that real wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few.

I don't know how many Russians actually own land or buildings or farms but I have read that foreigners like Canadians may buy land and create businesses in Russia. Russians do own land today but I do not understand the relationship between the government and the owner of a farm, for example.

So what kind of economy do they have if there is no longer complete state ownership of all assets and centralized control of the economy?

Cheers,

George



scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3270
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/21/2023 8:24:53 PM
Quote:


So what kind of economy do they have if there is no longer complete state ownership of all assets and centralized control of the economy?

Cheers,

George


Corporate capitalism is the economic definition.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1973
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 6:10:30 AM
I wound up in Moscow in the '70s due to no fault of my own. (Long story.) The trip to the Embassy was just depressing. Now I watch videos from Russia and it looks like the US, except US dogs don't use crosswalks. Suck it, Marx.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 7:25:16 AM
A few topics from 2-22,in history.? Comments, or any other new topics??

1797 the last invasion of Britain was raised during the Revolutionary War, as France invades Wales! How did that work out!? Why is it so difficult to invade the British Isles? What say you??

1819 Adams-OnisTreaty giving Florida from Spain to the US is signed! How did the US manage this?? Comments??

1847 battle of Bueno Vista is won by Americans over the Mexican Army! How was this the training ground to the Civil War? Anyone??

1825 Russia & Britain establish the Alaskan border! I thought the US was involved? Say what? Comments??

1854 the Republican Party is established in Michigan! Did this party actually flip later in history?? What say you?

1903 drought almost sets up part of Niagara Falls! Anyone have pictures or notes on this? Incredible!??

1915 Germany begins unrestricted submarine warfare! Didn't they know this would draw America into the war?? What say you??

1941 "Bomber Harris", becomes Britain's Air Marshall! Was he a good choice? Or a " mad bomber"!? Just who was Bomber Harris? Anyone??

1942 FDR orders Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines! How will this effect the war in the Pacific?? Comments anyone?? BTW how most could all of the USAF planes be caught & destroyed on the ground, when the US knew that the Japanese were coming!? Someone messed up? Who in your opinion??

Speaking of the USAF on this day they mistakenly bombed a Dutch city, @ 800 civilians die!? How could this mistake possibly happen! What say you??

1945 the Canadian 3rd Division takes Moyland! Anyone have anything on this??

Any other events??

cheers,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 11:45:15 AM
A couple other events from 2-22 are.

2-22 in 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team upset the Russian Team. It basically was college kids against Russian Pros! There was an excellent movie "Miracle" made about it . Comments on the 1980 hockey upset!? Anyone??

Today on history Santa Anna began the siege of the Alamo. The brave defenders fought to the last man! Perhaps they heard Santa Ana massacred those Texans ( 417) who surrendered at Goliad!? A war crime!? What say you??

MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1527
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 12:23:46 PM
Quote:
A couple other events from 2-22 are.

2-22 in 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team upset the Russian Team. It basically was college kids against Russian Pros! There was an excellent movie "Miracle" made about it . Comments on the 1980 hockey upset!? Anyone??

MD


Two days later, Team USA was down 2-1 going into the 3rd period against Team Finland. Had Finland won that match, Team Russia would be wearing the Gold but, Team USA scored 3 goals against Finland in the 3rd to win the match 4-2 and won the Gold at home!

Dan
----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 4:50:33 PM
Quote:
Quote:
A couple other events from 2-22 are.

2-22 in 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team upset the Russian Team. It basically was college kids against Russian Pros! There was an excellent movie "Miracle" made about it . Comments on the 1980 hockey upset!? Anyone??

MD


Two days later, Team USA was down 2-1 going into the 3rd period against Team Finland. Had Finland won that match, Team Russia would be wearing the Gold but, Team USA scored 3 goals against Finland in the 3rd to win the match 4-2 and won the Gold at home!

Dan



Was that the last time that a team that could be designated as truly amateur won the Olympic gold medal? Certainly, it was an upset.

Cheers,

DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1527
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 7:09:41 PM
Quote:
A couple other events from 2-22 are.

2-22 in 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team upset the Russian Team. It basically was college kids against Russian Pros! There was an excellent movie "Miracle" made about it . Comments on the 1980 hockey upset!? Anyone??

MD


Two days later, Team USA was down 2-1 going into the 3rd period against Team Finland. Had Finland won that match, Team Russia would be wearing the Gold but, Team USA scored 3 goals against Finland in the 3rd to win the match 4-2 and won the Gold at home!

Dan



Quote:
Was that the last time that a team that could be designated as truly amateur won the Olympic gold medal? Certainly, it was an upset.

Cheers,


That this team had only played 61 games together as a team going into the Olympics, I would answer yes to your question. However; I just do not know to what extent the other national teams time together was, outside of the Soviets, Finns and Swedes.

Dan
----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/22/2023 9:21:33 PM
Quote:
1945 the Canadian 3rd Division takes Moyland! Anyone have anything on this??


This was part of the great initiative by the 21st Army Group to defeat the German forces in the Rhineland. It was part of Operation Veritable which took place from Feb. 8, 1945 until Mar. 11, 1945. It was part of a pincer movement to include the US 9th Army effecting Operation Grenade from the south while the Canadians and British closed from the north in Veritable.

It was necessary to seize the Rhineland so that the crossing of the Rhine could be made.

Canadian and British soldiers described the fighting in Veritable as worse than Normandy and for the veterans of the Battle of the Scheldt, some found it just as wet.

The southern part of the pincer could not occur when it was supposed to have because the US forces were stymied by heavy flooding of the Roer River caused by the Germans and so German troops were able to concentrate on the north arm of the pincer movement and created problems and casualties while the Americans waited for the torrent coming down the Roer to subside so that they could cross.

I won't go into the details of the whole battle because this is about Moyland Wood which was a well defended wooded area and it was necessary to take it. The Canadians eventually did but at great cost and it took longer than was desired. Once taken the Goch-Calcar road would be open.

A Scottish division had been stopped at great cost in the western half of the wood and the Canadians came in on the east. The Germans counter attacked many times and it took artillery and the use of Wasps (flame throwers ) to finally finish the battle. When the weather permitted, the 2nd Tactical AF was employed. The Germans proved to be aggressive defenders.

I do have an article written by D. Gordon Brown who fought at Moyland Wood. He is brutally honest about the attitude of some of the men in his unit and his own performance which he graded as subpar in this battle. The article was published in Canadian Military History affiliated with Wilfred Laurier University in Ontario.

[Read More]

Canadians in Moyland Wood





Cheers,

George


Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4811
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 12:56:47 AM
Quote:
1941 "Bomber Harris", becomes Britain's Air Marshall! Was he a good choice? Or a " mad bomber"!? Just who was Bomber Harris? Anyone??

Let’s get the nit-picking out of the way first. He took command of Bomber Command in 1942, not 1941. Harris was an Air Marshal, but not Britain’s Air Marshal. IIUC, Air Marshall is a rank in the RAF; a senior rank, but not the ultimate rank in the RAF. He did not set policy; that came from the War Cabinet through the Air Ministry. His appointment was as Head of Bomber Command, which gave him day to day control of Bomber Command’s execution of Air Ministry policy.

Harris replaced Air Marshal Sir Richard Peirse, who was relieved of that command in January 1942 and sent to India as Commander of Air Forces in India. It is generally accepted that events of a Bomber Command raid on 7/8 December had something to do with Peirse’s transfer; the 7/8 Nov raid resulted in 12.9% loss rate of a/c for little damage. Closer to the truth, IMHO, is that Peirse could not execute the sometimes contradictory directives passed from War Cabinet through the Air Ministry. On 7/8 Nov, under pressure to meet requirements, he launched raids in adverse weather conditions – so adverse that the Head of Bomber Command’s 5 Group rejected Peirse’s directive and committed his a/c to a different target! – with resulting losses too high to be deemed acceptable. While bombing ops continued, they were reduced an scale and scope while the War Cabinet pondered what would now be called a cost/benefit analysis of continued support of the strategic bombing program RAF BC was designed to deliver.

During this period, Harris was on mission in the US, IIRC in some kind of liaison capacity. He was recalled to GB, but remained in the US to complete his current assignments. He was finally free by February 1942, and returned to take command of BC in late Feb 1942. By luck, he missed the embarrassment of the Channel Dash by less than 2 weeks. But he would be taking over Bomber Command at a time when its capabilities and potentials were under deep scrutiny. I assume he knew that.

The choice of Harris was, it seems to me, deliberate. He was a career airman who survived reduction of personnel at the end of WW1. He was pragmatic, but inclined to believe in the capabilities of strategic bombing. He had supported strategic bombing in the inter-war years, and had executed bombing raids against rebellious tribesmen in Iraq in the 1930s. That kind of bombing, of course, was dropping small bombs from the side of bi-planes, but it had proved effective against mounted tribesmen. But that was, at the time, the only real test bed available.

The majority of senior members of the Air Ministry not only agreed with him, but in theory looked to the day when “the bomber would always get through”. Add to that the fact that the USAAC also had many senior officers who agreed with “the bomber will always get through”, and Harris must have been seen as a perfect choice, given the the US had recently entered the war, with a “Europe first” policy.

In Harris’s favour, he inherited an RAF Bomber Command that was in the process of improving its a/c massively. The smaller, lighter bombers with which the RAF entered the war – the Fairey Battles (dumped from Bomber Command to support the BEF in Europe pre-May 1940) and the Bleinhams (I and IV) – were increasingly being assigned daylight scrambles. The Hampdens were slowly being weaned from first-line status. Even the fine (but ugly) Armstrong “Whitley” was increasingly transferred to sea-mining (“gardening”, at the time). In their place, the Wellington remained a front-line a/c, but a host of new craft – Short “Stirling”. Handley Page “Halifax”, Avro “Manchester” and the hugely superior “Lancaster” – were providing the capacity, if not yet the electronic devices, to carry significant bombs to an accurate drop point.

Harris was making good use of his better a/c, but his saving operations came with Operation Millenial, the series of three 1,000 bomb raids undertaken in late May-early June, 1942. I sense they were modelled on Jimmy Doolittle’s propaganda raid on Tokyo by his sea-launched B-25s. The US needed the boost an attack on Tokyo suggested, however successful it was. Harris felt a 1,000 a/c attack three times would boost RAF BC with the British public.

They were impressive at the time. Churchill was delighted and mentioned afterwards that he would have accepted a 10% loss rate in face of the positive propaganda. Easy to say afterwards, of course! I wonder how Air Marshal Peirce might have felt about that WSC comment!

When we get down to the man, I don’t think we should ask about “right man” or “mad bomber”. He was a supporter of strategic bombing, arguing that 4,000 bombers would prove capable of ending the war. He was not afraid to commit his troops to potentially catastrophic operations; he announced to his Groups that the Battle of Berlin would see 50% of those in front of him dead in the next is months, and his crews cheered him. He was fiercely loyal to his crews, sometimes to the potential negative chance of his cause. All these are positives in a commander. But …

As the war progressed (think from October 1943 onward) he became more convinced that strategic bombing could end the war, and that any activity other than bombing was a side-show. He talked about “panaceas”, which in his mind was any activity which undermined the strategic bombing initiative. He manipulated and reinterpreted Air Ministry requirements, starting in the first quarter of 1944, using his authority as director of operations, Bomber Command, arguing that weather, enemy opposition, daily bomber resources or the like kept him from panacea missions bombing communications or transportation centres. Eventually, things go awkward enough that his seniors at the Air Ministry began suggesting charges of insubordination. It was an ugly time, and I’m surprised he remained in command.
I think to call Harris or any of the other “bomber first” supporters “mad Bombers” misses the point. In 1922, Douhet argued that bombers were unstoppable and that they could destroy enemy civilian morale sufficiently to bring about peace. Throughout the 1930s, bombers of all major European nations were developed with capabilities and armament far in excess of any defensive capability. Remember too: in 1939 there were still restrictions against wide-scale bombing; there were also movements to declare the bomber an illegal weapon of war.

I think, as WW2 continued, that those supporting the as yet unproven war-ending capabilities of bombers were, to various extents, shaken by the fact that it would once more be boots on the ground. Though Harris pushed his superiors to the point of being threatened with insubordination/rejection of orders, I think the bomb crazy folks were probably folks like Hap Arnold and his cohort, and in particular Gen Curtis Le May, whose final fire assault against Japanese civilian targets brought more destruction in1945 than the “fire storm” of Hamburg or Dresden, or even the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After the war, Bomber Harris wrote his Bomber Offensive which is a supportable read only if his initial assumptions are accepted. I think his premisses are valid but his assumptions based on them incorrect. By his lights – beliefs I know my father-in-law, a Bomber Command gunner who completed 60+ ops agreed with til the time of his death – strategic bombing did not win the war in Europe because he never had command of the 4,000 a/c he asked for but never received.

I could go on, but its probably time to realize I have already overdone any response to MD’s comment.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1973
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 6:16:33 AM
"They won't bomb us into submission!"

"We will bomb them into submission!"

Epic.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 7:31:06 AM
Reposted, more to discuss!???

1797 the last invasion of Britain was raised during the Revolutionary War, as France invades Wales! How did that work out!? Why is it so difficult to invade the British Isles? What say you??

1819 Adams-OnisTreaty giving Florida from Spain to the US is signed! How did the US manage this??Thanks George for your Comments??

1847 battle of Bueno Vista is won by Americans over the Mexican Army! How was this the training ground to the Civil War? Anyone??

1825 Russia & Britain establish the Alaskan border! I thought the US was involved? Say what? Thanks again George!

1854 the Republican Party is established in Michigan! Did this party actually flip later in history?? What say you?

1903 drought almost drys up part of Niagara Falls! Anyone have pictures or notes on this? Incredible!??

1915 Germany begins unrestricted submarine warfare! Didn't they know this would draw America into the war?? What say you??

1942 FDR orders Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines! How will this effect the war in the Pacific?? Comments anyone?? BTW how most could all of the USAF planes be caught & destroyed on the ground, when the US knew that the Japanese were coming!? Someone messed up? Who in your opinion??

Speaking of the USAF on this day they mistakenly bombed a Dutch city, @ 800 civilians die!? How could this mistake possibly happen! What say you?? Anyone?

Any other events?? From 2-23???

cheers,
MD

BTW Great posts from all yesterday, more later!?
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 11:33:42 AM
Quote:
1825 Russia & Britain establish the Alaskan border! I thought the US was involved? Say what? Thanks again George!


I am confused. I do not recall making a comment on this item. Perhaps I alluded to it in a discussion related to the establishment of the Alaska-Canada border by arbitration, in 1903.

The Treaty of St. Petersburg in 1825 did have an impact on the later discussions between Canada, the US and GB over the size (width?) of the Alaskan Panhandle.

In 1825, Alaska was a Russian colony. The Russians had been active in the Alaskan fur trade and along the Pacific coast. So were the British who were established in the Pacific NW. The US was far less involved. The Oregon Treaty was 21 years in the future and the Hudson Bay Company was the effective government in Oregon and points north. The British referred to the area that the US called Oregon as the Columbia district.

However, the US and Russia had signed a treaty in 1824 that established 54'40 latitude as the farthest southern reach of Russia's Alaska so it is clear that the US intended to establish itself and to annex territory.

So Russian and GB got together to discuss territorial and fur trade rights as they pertained to Alaska. The treaty did set the boundaries between Alaska and British North America and that would help define territories like the Arctic Archipelago, the Yukon and BC.

For Canada and the US, problems would arise from the interpretation of Article III of the Treaty of St. Petersburg. It did define the southern most extent of the Alaskan Panhandle at 54'40. We recall that the US was trying to claim all of Oregon territory right up to the southern limit of Alaska.

President Polk and others would shout the slogan, "54'40 or fight" to indicate a willingness to go to war to acquire all of the land that it deemed was destined to be in US possession. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 recognized the 49th parallel as the limit of US ownership. However, in the 1840's there was a faction in the US that was willing to go to war to obtain this territory.

This map show a number of borders proposed as the British and Americans negotiated. The line farthest to the north is the 54'40 latitude that President Polk demanded as the limit of the Oregon territory.
The most southerly line is the Columbia River I believe, and that is where the British proposed that the border should be.





However, when it came time to discuss the border with Canada next to the Alaskan Panhandle, the "54'40" stipulation did affirm that Alaska, a part of the US in 1903, did extend that far.

So the difficulty then was to determine just where the line between Canada and the panhandle should be placed and in this case, the Treaty or Convention of St. Petersburg was not helpful as the description of that border was vague and disputable.

Quote:
Treaty of St. Petersburg

Article III and IV

III. The line of demarcation between the Possessions of the High Contracting Parties, upon the Coast of the Continent, and the Islands of America to the North-West, shall be drawn in the following manner:-
Commencing from the Southern-most Point of the Island called Prince of Wales Island, which Point lies in the parallel of 54 degrees 40 minutes, North Latitude, and between the 131st and 133d Degree of West Longitude (Meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the North along the Channel called Portland Channel, as far as the Point of the Continent where it strikes the 56th Degree of North Latitude; from this last mentioned Point the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the Coast, as far as the point of intersection of the 141st Degree of West Longitude (of the same Meridian); and, finally, from the said point of intersection, the said Meridian Line of the 141st Degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian and British Possessions on the Continent of America to the North West.

IV
IV. With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the preceding Article it is understood;
1st. That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia.
2d. That wherever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction parallel to the Coast, from the 56th degree of north Latitude to the point of intersection of the 141st degree of West Longitude, shall prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the Ocean, the limit between the British Possess- ions and the line of Coast which is to belong to Russia, as above-mentioned, shall be formed by a line parallel to the windings of the Coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom.


Article III does a pretty good job in defining the long, straight border from the top of the panhandle to the Arctic Ocean. That wasn't the problem.

Take a look at Article IV and this is where Canada, Britain and the US had a dispute because the eastern boundary of the panhandle was not well defined. The British and the Russians were more concerned with a fair sharing of fishing and trade rights along the rich coast. As they travelled inland, only mountains were encountered and these were seen as inconsequential to the negotiations.

The part of the Treaty of St. Petersburg that was in dispute was, “the line of coast which is to belong to Russia… shall be formed by a line parallel to the winding of the coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues [56 km] therefrom.”

So how shall we measure 10 leagues from the coast. Where is the starting point? The US argued that at any point that the mainland touches the sea that that was the point from which the 10 leagues should be measured.

Canada's argument was that the coast had to be measured from the western boundary of the Channel Islands.



We all know what happened in 1903. Lord Alverstone was the British representative on the arbitration committee and he sided with the Americans. And with that Canada has been denied access to the sea from 54'40 north. The compromise solution still placed Skagway in US territory.

Cheers,

George









OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1973
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 2:28:00 PM
https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/wallowa.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/3d/b3d37fc8-580a-11ea-b214-23c2bd24aefa/5e557f508205b.image.jpg?resize=500%2C500
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 2:52:25 PM
Quote:
1903 drought almost drys up part of Niagara Falls! Anyone have pictures or notes on this? Incredible!??


Just the American falls. I suppose that drought was the problem as there was insufficient water available to travel over the US falls. But it was actually caused by an ice jam on the US side of Goat Island. That diverted the flow to the Canadian side until the ice unjammed.

Apparently people ran out on the dry river bed just to say that they had done so. And a few managed to grab treasures found on the river bed. And they seemed to be unconcerned that ice jams can release at any time.

You can see Goat Island on this map. The US falls are to the north side of the island and the Canadian falls to the south.



Cheers,

George
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1527
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 4:58:49 PM
This is either 1848 or 1911, seems to be some dispute on the internet but, how about a walk on the.., frozen side.



----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3270
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 5:58:04 PM
Clothes say 1911.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 5:59:30 PM
What OP meant was!?

[Read More]
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13550
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 9:12:55 PM
The 1848 incident stopped the flow over both the American and Horseshoe Falls. It was in March around the time of ice break-up.

In this case, the mouth of the Niagara River had been blocked by ice on Lake Erie that had been blown by heavy winds and that ice jammed up the entry of Lake Erie waters into the river.

I recall reading that the mills along the Niagara River stopped working because there was no water flowing. People walked out on the dry river bed and were collecting muskets and hatchets and swords associated with the War of 1812 that had ended only 30 years before. I suspect that some of the weapons may have been associated with the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada.

As for the picture the Dan provided, I have seen it described as Canadians walking on the river bed in 1911. That was a different incident in which the falls apparently froze over which has happened many times, but I am pretty sure that those people are on the river bed above the American Falls. More likely to be Americans, I think. So I am confused.

Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/23/2023 10:56:25 PM
Quote:
Quote:
1941 "Bomber Harris", becomes Britain's Air Marshall! Was he a good choice? Or a " mad bomber"!? Just who was Bomber Harris? Anyone??

Let’s get the nit-picking out of the way first. He took command of Bomber Command in 1942, not 1941. Harris was an Air Marshal, but not Britain’s Air Marshal. IIUC, Air Marshall is a rank in the RAF; a senior rank, but not the ultimate rank in the RAF. He did not set policy; that came from the War Cabinet through the Air Ministry. His appointment was as Head of Bomber Command, which gave him day to day control of Bomber Command’s execution of Air Ministry policy.

Harris replaced Air Marshal Sir Richard Peirse, who was relieved of that command in January 1942 and sent to India as Commander of Air Forces in India. It is generally accepted that events of a Bomber Command raid on 7/8 December had something to do with Peirse’s transfer; the 7/8 Nov raid resulted in 12.9% loss rate of a/c for little damage. Closer to the truth, IMHO, is that Peirse could not execute the sometimes contradictory directives passed from War Cabinet through the Air Ministry. On 7/8 Nov, under pressure to meet requirements, he launched raids in adverse weather conditions – so adverse that the Head of Bomber Command’s 5 Group rejected Peirse’s directive and committed his a/c to a different target! – with resulting losses too high to be deemed acceptable. While bombing ops continued, they were reduced an scale and scope while the War Cabinet pondered what would now be called a cost/benefit analysis of continued support of the strategic bombing program RAF BC was designed to deliver.

During this period, Harris was on mission in the US, IIRC in some kind of liaison capacity. He was recalled to GB, but remained in the US to complete his current assignments. He was finally free by February 1942, and returned to take command of BC in late Feb 1942. By luck, he missed the embarrassment of the Channel Dash by less than 2 weeks. But he would be taking over Bomber Command at a time when its capabilities and potentials were under deep scrutiny. I assume he knew that.

The choice of Harris was, it seems to me, deliberate. He was a career airman who survived reduction of personnel at the end of WW1. He was pragmatic, but inclined to believe in the capabilities of strategic bombing. He had supported strategic bombing in the inter-war years, and had executed bombing raids against rebellious tribesmen in Iraq in the 1930s. That kind of bombing, of course, was dropping small bombs from the side of bi-planes, but it had proved effective against mounted tribesmen. But that was, at the time, the only real test bed available.

The majority of senior members of the Air Ministry not only agreed with him, but in theory looked to the day when “the bomber would always get through”. Add to that the fact that the USAAC also had many senior officers who agreed with “the bomber will always get through”, and Harris must have been seen as a perfect choice, given the the US had recently entered the war, with a “Europe first” policy.

In Harris’s favour, he inherited an RAF Bomber Command that was in the process of improving its a/c massively. The smaller, lighter bombers with which the RAF entered the war – the Fairey Battles (dumped from Bomber Command to support the BEF in Europe pre-May 1940) and the Bleinhams (I and IV) – were increasingly being assigned daylight scrambles. The Hampdens were slowly being weaned from first-line status. Even the fine (but ugly) Armstrong “Whitley” was increasingly transferred to sea-mining (“gardening”, at the time). In their place, the Wellington remained a front-line a/c, but a host of new craft – Short “Stirling”. Handley Page “Halifax”, Avro “Manchester” and the hugely superior “Lancaster” – were providing the capacity, if not yet the electronic devices, to carry significant bombs to an accurate drop point.

Harris was making good use of his better a/c, but his saving operations came with Operation Millenial, the series of three 1,000 bomb raids undertaken in late May-early June, 1942. I sense they were modelled on Jimmy Doolittle’s propaganda raid on Tokyo by his sea-launched B-25s. The US needed the boost an attack on Tokyo suggested, however successful it was. Harris felt a 1,000 a/c attack three times would boost RAF BC with the British public.

They were impressive at the time. Churchill was delighted and mentioned afterwards that he would have accepted a 10% loss rate in face of the positive propaganda. Easy to say afterwards, of course! I wonder how Air Marshal Peirce might have felt about that WSC comment!

When we get down to the man, I don’t think we should ask about “right man” or “mad bomber”. He was a supporter of strategic bombing, arguing that 4,000 bombers would prove capable of ending the war. He was not afraid to commit his troops to potentially catastrophic operations; he announced to his Groups that the Battle of Berlin would see 50% of those in front of him dead in the next is months, and his crews cheered him. He was fiercely loyal to his crews, sometimes to the potential negative chance of his cause. All these are positives in a commander. But …

As the war progressed (think from October 1943 onward) he became more convinced that strategic bombing could end the war, and that any activity other than bombing was a side-show. He talked about “panaceas”, which in his mind was any activity which undermined the strategic bombing initiative. He manipulated and reinterpreted Air Ministry requirements, starting in the first quarter of 1944, using his authority as director of operations, Bomber Command, arguing that weather, enemy opposition, daily bomber resources or the like kept him from panacea missions bombing communications or transportation centres. Eventually, things go awkward enough that his seniors at the Air Ministry began suggesting charges of insubordination. It was an ugly time, and I’m surprised he remained in command.
I think to call Harris or any of the other “bomber first” supporters “mad Bombers” misses the point. In 1922, Douhet argued that bombers were unstoppable and that they could destroy enemy civilian morale sufficiently to bring about peace. Throughout the 1930s, bombers of all major European nations were developed with capabilities and armament far in excess of any defensive capability. Remember too: in 1939 there were still restrictions against wide-scale bombing; there were also movements to declare the bomber an illegal weapon of war.

I think, as WW2 continued, that those supporting the as yet unproven war-ending capabilities of bombers were, to various extents, shaken by the fact that it would once more be boots on the ground. Though Harris pushed his superiors to the point of being threatened with insubordination/rejection of orders, I think the bomb crazy folks were probably folks like Hap Arnold and his cohort, and in particular Gen Curtis Le May, whose final fire assault against Japanese civilian targets brought more destruction in1945 than the “fire storm” of Hamburg or Dresden, or even the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After the war, Bomber Harris wrote his Bomber Offensive which is a supportable read only if his initial assumptions are accepted. I think his premisses are valid but his assumptions based on them incorrect. By his lights – beliefs I know my father-in-law, a Bomber Command gunner who completed 60+ ops agreed with til the time of his death – strategic bombing did not win the war in Europe because he never had command of the 4,000 a/c he asked for but never received.

I could go on, but its probably time to realize I have already overdone any response to MD’s comment.

Cheers
Brian G



Hi Brian,

Thanks, A great synopsis on Bomber Harris!

Bomber Harris actually had Iraqi tribesmen bombed??

MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8313
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
2/24/2023 6:04:09 AM
topics on 2-24 in history.?

1779 George Rogers Clark defeats the British at Vincennes Indiana, A big win out west for them! Were Indians involved?? Anyone?

1786 Gen Lord Cornwallis appointed Governor General of India!? Go figure, he loses at Yorktown, & then he's rewarded! He must of had connections? What say you??

1861 CSA Gen Bedford Forrest raids Tennessee! How good of a Confederate Officer was he? & what of what really happened at Fort Pillow, TN.? Also, What about after the Civil War he becomes for a time, the leader of the KKK? Anyone??

1917, the Zimmerman Note is deciphered! The US is really upset, the Germans trying to get Mexico to attack the US!
Anyone have a site with the exact contents of the note? & how it went down??

1924 Mahatmah Gandhi released from jail by the British, why was he in there in the 1st place? Were the British fair to India?? Comments on the Empire! Anyone??

1945 Egypt & Syria declare war on Germany! Were they just jumping on the bandwagon, now that the Nazis were mostly defeated?? Comments?

Anything else, maybe we missed??

Thanks for your participation!
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
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