Quotulatiousness

May 12, 2017

The Macedonian Standoff – The Five Nation Army Is Repelled I THE GREAT WAR Week 146

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 11 May 2017

Italy, France, Serbia, Britain and Russia joined forces at the Macedonian Front and the “five nation army” wants to break through the lines held by Bulgaria with some German support. But the Bulgarian defences can withstand the attack and so Maurice Sarrail is forced to abandon all hopes for a breakthrough. Meanwhile another offensive is about to proceed at the Italian front which had been quiet all winter.

May 2, 2017

Reinventing Cavalry in WW1 – Bulgarian General Ivan Kolev I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 1 May 2017

Cavalry was seen as leftover from the past in the dawn of modern warfare during World War 1. But Bulgarian General Ivan Kolev was one of the few who still saw a place for them on the modern battlefield. He reinvented the cavalry role and used them together with early motorised infantry – with great success during the Romanian campaign. He died before the war was over but people like August von Mackensen or Heinz Guderian were still impressed with his legacy.

April 28, 2017

The Battle of Doiran – Turmoil In The French Army I THE GREAT WAR Week 144

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 27 Apr 2017

The Salonica Front had been quiet over the winter, but much like the recent battles on the Western Front, it erupted this week. The British Army tried to take the Bulgarian positions at Doiran – these positions might have been some of the best defences of the entire war. After the failed Nivelle Offensive, some French soldiers start to question the whole war.

March 31, 2017

Lenin Takes The Train – First Battle of Gaza I THE GREAT WAR Week 140

Filed under: Europe, History, Middle East, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 30 Mar 2017

When the Russian government promises to continue the war and support the Entente with another offensive, the Germans are allowing Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov aka Lenin to board a train from his exile in Switzerland to Russia. The British Army once again underestimates the Ottoman Empire at the 1st Battle of Gaza and the Toplica Uprising ends.

February 11, 2017

QotD: The Nazi Final Solution in Denmark and Bulgaria

Filed under: Europe, Germany, History, Quotations — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

… most nations of Central and Eastern Europe were occupied by or allied with Germany during this period. The Nazis made it clear that deporting their Jews to the concentration camps in Nazi territory was a condition for continued good relations; a serious threat, when bad relations could turn a protectorate-type situation into an outright invasion and occupation.

Pride of place goes to Denmark and Bulgaria, both of which resisted all Nazi demands despite the Germans having almost complete power over them. Most people have heard the legend of how, when the Germans ordered that all Jews must wear gold stars, the King of Denmark said he would wear one too. These kinds of actions weren’t just symbolic; without cooperation from the Gentile population and common knowledge of who was or wasn’t Jewish, the Nazis had no good way to round people up for concentration camps. Nothing happened until 1943, when Himmler became so annoyed that he sent his personal agent Rolf Gunther to clean things up. Gunther tried hard but found the going impossible. Danish police refused to go door-to-door rounding up Jews, and when Gunther imported police from Germany, the Danes told them that they couldn’t break into apartments or else they would arrest them for breaking and entering. Then the Danish police tipped off Danish Jews not to open their doors to knocks since those might be German police. When it became clear that the Nazis weren’t going to accept any more delays, Danish fishermen offered to ferry Jews to neutral Sweden for free. In the end the Nazis only got a few hundred Danish Jews, and the Danish government made such a “fuss” (Arendt’s word) about them that the Nazis agreed to send them all to Theresienstadt, their less-murderous-than-usual camp, and let Red Cross observers in to make sure they were treated well. In the end, only 48 Danish Jews died in the entire Holocaust.

Bulgaria’s resistance was less immediately heroic, and looked less like the king proudly proclaiming his identity with oppressed people everywhere than with the whole government just dragging their feet so long that nothing got done. Eichmann sent an agent named Theodor Dannecker to get them moving, but as per Arendt:

    not until about six months later did they take the first step in the direction of “radical” measures – the introduction of the Jewish badge. For the Nazis, even this turned out to be a great disappointment. In the first place, as they dutifully reported, the badge was only a “very little star”; second, most Jews simply did not wear it; and, third, those who did wear it received “so many manifestations of sympathy from the misled population that they actually are proud of their sign” – as Walter Schellenberg, Chief of Counterintelligence in the R.S.H.A., wrote in an S.D. report transmitted to the Foreign Office in November, 1942. Whereupon the Bulgarian government revoked the decree. Under great German pressure, the Bulgarian government finally decided to expel all Jews from Sofia to rural areas, but this measure was definitely not what the Germans demanded, since it dispersed the Jews instead of concentrating them.

The Bulgarians continued their policy of vaguely agreeing in principle to Nazi demands and then doing nothing, all the way until the Russians invaded and the time of danger was over. The result was that not a single Bulgarian Jew died in the Holocaust.

Scott Alexander, “Book review: Eichmann in Jerusalem”, Slate Star Codex, 2017-01-30.

February 10, 2017

Bulgaria Digs In At Doiran – The Final Blow Against The Senussi I THE GREAT WAR Week 133

Filed under: Europe, History, Military, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 9 Feb 2017

While the US breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany in response to unrestricted submarine warfare, the Western Front is rather quiet. On the Macedonian Front, the Bulgarian Army is digging in at Doiran. They built a formidable defence network without the Entente realising it and this week 100 years ago the British get a first taste of that. The British also deal the final blow against the Senussi tribesmen on the Libyan Front.

September 6, 2016

Romania in World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Published on 5 Sep 2016

Visit the Fortress Museum in Przemyśl: https://goo.gl/maps/8vdZ8AbqapG2

Romania’s history before World War 1 was heavily influenced by the great powers surrounding them. Not only was a considerable minority of Romanians living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Romanian royal family had ties to Germany, Britain and Russia. After fighting in the Balkan Wars, Romania remained neutral during the first two years of World War 1 but decided to join when the moment seemed right.

March 18, 2016

Battle of the Isonzo – Discord Among The Central Powers I THE GREAT WAR Week 86

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Published on 17 Mar 2016

The alliance between the Central Powers of World War 1 doesn’t seem to be as strong anymore. The Bulgarians, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany are following their own goals without really helping out the other. Erich von Falkenhayn is obsessed with Verdun, Conrad von Hötzendorf wants to go on the offensive again after the 5th Battle of the Isonzo and the Bulgarians don’t have the resources to pursue their own goals. At the same time the unrestricted submarine warfare of the Germans is taking a deadly toll.

February 16, 2016

Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Published on 15 Feb 2016

Even the appointment of Ferdinand I to become ruler of Bulgaria was not without controversy. All across Europe, leaders didn’t see him fit to do the job. Controversy followed him throughout his life, the Balkan Wars and the First World War when he had to see the defeat of his country. Find out all about that other Tsar in our episode.

December 19, 2015

Despair And Mutiny On The Italian Front I THE GREAT WAR – Week 73

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:33

Published on 17 Dec 2015

The morale of the Italian Army at the Isonzo Front is on an all time low. Catastrophic defeats against the Austrians, bad and broken equipment, unsanitary conditions, no supplies, no front leave and recreation for the soldiers. This week the first troops under Luigi Cardona are mutinying. At the same time the Entente is in real trouble against Bulgaria on the Macedonian Front and the evacuation of Gallipoli is still in the planning phase.

October 16, 2015

Learning Lessons From Loos – Bulgaria Enters The War I THE GREAT WAR – Week 64

Filed under: Britain, Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 15 Oct 2015

By the numbers the Battle of Loos was a defeat for the British Army but they learned valuable lessons for the future on the Western Front. The creeping artillery barrage is used for the first time successfully and it is apparent that assault tactics have to be rethought completely. On the Balkans, Bulgaria officially declares war on Serbia and joins the Central Powers Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. On the same day they invade Serbia which is now in real trouble.

October 6, 2015

Bulgaria in World War 1 – The New Central Power I THE GREAT WAR – Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 5 Oct 2015

Thank you Plamen Ganev for helping with the research for this episode!

Bulgaria joined the ranks of the Central Powers in World War 1 in October 1915 and shortly after invaded neighbouring Serbia to support the German-Austro offensive on Belgrade. A lot of promises about territory were made towards Ferdinand I and especially the chance of getting back territories lost in the Balkan Wars was music to Bulgarian ears. Find out all about Bulgaria joining World War 1 in our special episode.

September 18, 2015

The State Of World War 1 – As Reported by A Newspaper 100 Years Ago I THE GREAT WAR – Week 60

Filed under: Australia, Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 17 Sep 2015

This week Indy dissects a contemporary source from autumn 1915 – the Hobart Mercury newspaper from Australia. You can find the whole newspaper right here: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/10429329

While the French and British prepare a new offensive on the Western Front, their Entente ally Russia is still suffering in the East when Germany is moving on the last big Russian city of Vilnius. Even though the propaganda says otherwise, the situation for the ANZACs in Gallipoli still looks grim.

September 11, 2015

The Socialists Call for Peace – But the Plans Do Not I THE GREAT WAR – Week 59

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 10 Sep 2015

While the Socialist movement gathers in Switzerland and calls for peace on the Western Front, on the Eastern Front and the Balkans the signs are set for the opposite: An escalation with new offensives. The French and British want to attack near Artois and in the Champagne, Germany wants to finish the war weary Russian Army. At the same time Bulgaria agrees to attack Serbia within the next 30 days. Even in London the war can still be felt when German Zeppelins continue to drop bombs on the British capital.

April 3, 2015

Between The Fronts – War Refugees I THE GREAT WAR Week 36

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 2 Apr 2015

Not only the soldiers are suffering on the Eastern and Western Front, the Dardanelles or since this week also in Macedonia. More and more civilians become refugees in this modern war. Even far away from the battle grounds they are not safe anymore when German submarine sink civilian ships.

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