Published on 27 Mar 2017
Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, is one of the most controversial characters of his era. His racial views, his view on peace and the post-war world, his decision to go to war with Germany in 1917 are still being debated to this day. We take a look at the life of Wilson to better understand his motivation.
March 28, 2017
In the latest Libertarian Enterprise, L. Neil Smith goes over just the “high points” of American interference in the domestic affairs of other nations:
It makes me sick to keep hearing the mostly Democratic assertion that Donald J. Trump is a candidate foisted on us poor, gullible Americans by the Russian government. This is largely a matter of psychological projection by the left, and of mind-boggling hypocrisy. Previous American governments (mostly Democratic) have a long, shameful history of removing foreign leaders they dislike, for one reason or another, and replacing them with more agreeable figures.
It’s hard to know quite where to begin, and absolutely impossible to be exhaustive. General Smedley Darlington Butler (1881- 1940), twice winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, tells a long, bloody tale in his little book War Is A Racket, in which he demonstrates that the United States Marines were sent on gunboats to various places across our sad, scarred, and war-weary planet — notably to South and Central America — to protect the interests (with rifles and bayonets, if necessary) of corporations like the United Fruit Company. Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatamala have all suffered from this kind of interference. That’s why they’re called “banana republics”.
In 1953, the people of Iran had thrown the Shah off the throne and replaced him with an elected official by the name of Mosaddegh. British and American “intelligence” were alarmed. If the guy was a communist (he was not) he might cut off the supply of oil on which they had become dependent to enforce their will on the world, So they deposed him and set the Shah back on the throne, setting the scene for today’s unholy (and extremely dangerous) mess.
Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina was the dictator of the Dominican Republic (which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti) for many decades. He was thoroughly brutal and corrupt, but a time came when his government began to break up, threatening the “stability” of the Caribbean region. In 1961. he was assassinated spectacularly by riflemen in ambush. (Oddly, I recall his car body being blown off the frame by a bazooka.) Wikipedia teeters between blaming his dozens of political rivals and the CIA. At the time it happened, everybody I knew (I was growing up in the military — counter insurgency branch) took the latter theory for granted.
And in 1963, in the middle of the War in Vietnam, when a dictator named Diem failed to do America’s bidding, the kindly, humane, genteel, and oh-so-Democratic President John F. Kennedy had him assassinated and replaced.
Published on 20 Mar 2015
The third in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
In 1923 Vickers Ltd. of Sheffield and Newcastle, started to manufacture tanks for the British Army. They were the first representatives of a new generation of tanks, designed to fight on the move and restore mobility to the battlefield.
As designed the Medium tanks had a 3 pounder gun in the turret; a Vickers machine-gun in each side of the hull and Hotchkiss light machine-guns in the turret. These last were later eliminated in favour of a single Vickers machine-gun, mounted alongside the main gun and described as co-axial, since it elevates on the same axis as the main gun. This modification altered the design from Mark II to Mark II*. Using these tanks the Royal Tank Corps established standards of gunnery which, in their day, were never equalled.
March 26, 2017
Published on 25 Mar 2017
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It’s time for the Chair of Wisdom again and this week Indy compares World War 1 helmet designs and we talk about the discrimination of Germans in the US during WW1.
March 24, 2017
Published on 23 Mar 2017
The First World War & The Death of the Habsburg Empire: http://www.boehlau-verlag.com/download/163983/978-3-205-79588-9_1_OpenAccess.pdf
Since Kaiser Karl I ascended the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire he was not happy with the progression of the war. He felt that his empire was tied to their German ally more than necessary and this week 100 years ago he was starting a process of secret negotiations for a separate peace with the Entente. At the same time the British had increasing problems at the home front and the chaos in Russia continued.
Published on 27 Feb 2015
The second in a series of short films about some of the vehicles in our collection presented by The Tank Museum’s historian David Fletcher MBE.
The Carden Loyd Carrier or tankette: Designed by Sir John Carden and Captain Vivian Loyd this was a low cost, two-man Machine-Gun Carrier for infantry use. The company was taken over by Vickers-Armstrong in 1927 and the vehicle was mass-produced for the British Army in addition to a thriving export trade. Unpopular with the infantry, they were used mostly by the Royal Tank Corps as embryonic light tanks in the reconnaissance role.
March 22, 2017
Published on 21 Mar 2017
Without trains, the modern armies of World War 1 were not able to move their troops en masse. Without trains, the soldiers at the front didn’t have food or ammunition and without trains, the soldiers wouldn’t make it to the nearest hospital. Trains were the backbone of the new, industrialised war of the 20th century.
March 21, 2017
Streamed live 9 hours ago
Othais’ channel: https://www.youtube.com/candrsenal
In our series about the rifles and pistols today, Othais got his hands on the standard issue rifles and pistols of the British Army in World War One.
March 19, 2017
Published on 18 Mar 2017
Chair of Wisdom Time! This week we talk about the propaganda story of the crucified soldier and the RMS Olympic.
March 17, 2017
Published on 16 Mar 2017
The protests that emerged in Russia this week are growing stronger and the Tsar is increasingly isolated until even his generals are pushing for his abdication. And after 300 years of Romanov rule, Tsar Nicholai II abdicates and when his brother refuses to take up the throne, the dynasty is no more. Meanwhile in the Middle East, the British are taking Baghdad effectively seizing control over a large area.
March 15, 2017
Published on 14 Mar 2017
Serbia’s turbulent history of the late 19th and early 20th century created some hard-boiled military leaders to the front lines of World War 1. One of these was Stepa Stepanovic – but he was not just hard boiled, he also stood with his country throughout the entire war which included the Serbian Exodus to Korfu.
Ted Campbell explains why it would not be a good thing for Canada to send a peacekeeping force to Mali (or to anywhere else in Africa right now):
The Globe and Mail, in an editorial, asks the key question:“Is there a Canadian national interest in sending troops to Mali?”
I suggest that unless and until the Trudeau government can say, “yes,” and can explain that vital interest to most Canadians that sending Canadian soldiers off to Africa on a United Nations operation is problematical. “The Canadian Armed Forces shed blood and lost lives during the decade-long mission in Afghanistan,” the Globe‘s editorial says, “Sending them into a similar campaign in Mali may further Liberal political interests. But does it serve the national interest?“
Now, I believe that I can make a sensible, mid to long term case for Canada to be “engaged,” politically, economically and militarily in Africa:
- Africa will be, after Asia, the “next big deal” for economic growth, trade and, therefore, profits;
- Canada will want to be involved as a trusted friend when Africa is ready to “blossom” and have an economic “boom” of its own; and
- Despite Chinese and French incursions there are still plenty of opportunities for Canadian engagement.
In other words, we have interests in Africa; even, perhaps, in the mid to long term, we have vital interests, at that.
I cannot make a case for getting involved in any United Nations mission in Africa. I cannot, even with rose coloured glasses, see one single United Nations mission in Africa that is working, much less succeeding and doing some good.
I’m not opposed to the UN. In fact, I’m one of those who says that if it didn’t exist we’d have to invent it. The current UN is better than the old League of Nations, and some UN agencies, like the International Telecommunications Union, for example, do good work for the whole world and are, alone, worth our entire UN contribution, but we ask too much of the UN and it is neither well enough designed or led or organized or funded to do even a small percentage of what is asked of it. Peacekeeping is one of the things that the UN cannot do well in the 21st century. Peacekeeping was fine when it was ‘invented’ (circa 1948, by Ralph Bunche, and American and Brian Urquhart, a Brit, not by Lester Pearson in 1957, no matter what your ill-educated professors may have told you) but it could not be adapted to situations in which there is:
- No peace to be kept;
- A plethora of non-state actors who are not amenable to UN sanctions.
A few days ago I wrote about the risks involved in sending soldiers to Africa. The Globe and Mail‘s editorial just adds some more fuel to that fire.
March 14, 2017
Published on 13 Mar 2017
India was part of the British Empire during World War 1 and it was of vital importance to the war effort. Resources, manufacturing power and over 1.3 million men that served in the Army meant a great price for India to pay during the war. But even before the conflict, the call for independence grew louder and louder.
March 12, 2017
Published on 11 Mar 2017
March 11, 2017
The Services should just acknowledge the reality of contracting anything in the seven-figure realm, and change initial award announcements to read: “The Initial Conditional Award of Contract XYZ is to Defense Conglomerate 1369. Work will commence after all Congressional Outraged Publicity-Seeking Posturing is exhausted and Butthurt Losing Contractor Challenges are adjudicated. We hope to run both those actions concurrently, and anticipate work will commence a minimum of 3-5 years behind schedule and costs grow at an exponential rate during this period, hence the budget supplemental is already in draft form for Newsies, Think Tanks, and Outraged Congresspersons to grind axes with.” Added caveat for this particular contract: “Additionally, a website has been established to collect all the comments from .40/.45 cal and steel-frame fanboyz to rant about How Stupid This Choice Is.”
John Donovan, posting to Facebook, 2017-02-28.