Quotulatiousness

June 17, 2016

What If – Two Pivotal Moments of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Week 99

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 16 Jun 2016

This week 100 years ago the whole war hangs in the balance, the Germans are about to break through the lines at Verdun, the Russians actually break through the Austro-Hungarian lines but fail to seize the opportunity further north. It all boils down to the lack of communication between Erich von Falkenhayn and Conrad von Hötzendorf which created a situation in which Falkenhayn has to save Conrad’s Army and loses his momentum at Verdun.

June 14, 2016

Beyond The Genocide – Armenia in WW1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

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

Published on 13 Jun 2016

The region of Armenia was a play ball between the interests of Russia and the Ottoman Empire long before World War 1. But the Armenian people were striving for self determination like the peoples all across Europe were doing too. In our special episode we take a look at the struggle of the Armenians beyond the Armenian Genocide.

June 12, 2016

Cossacks – Cavalry – Wolves I OUT OF THE TRENCHES

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

Published on 11 Jun 2016

Indy sits in the Chair of Wisdom again and this week we talk about Cavalry on the Eastern Front, Cossacks and wolves.

June 10, 2016

The Brusilov Offensive – The Arab Revolt I THE GREAT WAR Week 98

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

Published on 9 Jun 2016

The Brusilov Offensive is unleashed on the Eastern Front this week 100 years ago. General Aleksei Brusilov wants to crush the Austro-Hungarian Army and uses a variety of new tactics for his plan. At the same time, the Germans take Fort Vaux during the Battle of Verdun and in the Middle East, the Arab Revolt is declared.

June 7, 2016

Russia’s Finest General – Aleksei Brusilov I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 6 Jun 2016

Aleksei Brusilov was the mastermind of Russia’s finest moment in World War 1: The Brusilov Offensive. Although it didn’t achieve it’s planned objective, it broke the back of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The life of Aleksei Brusilov was an interesting one between the cultures and even after Imperial Russia was gone, his career was not over.

May 11, 2016

Prisoners of War During World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 9 May 2016

Millions of men were captured during World War 1 and most of them spent years in prison camps as pawns of the nation that captured them. However, their experience was a taboo in the post war society. We take a look at the hardships of being a prisoner and how the world powers used the POWs as leverage.

May 3, 2016

The Battle of Verdun – The War Moves To The Middle East I THE GREAT WAR WW1 Summary Part 5

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

Published on 2 May 2016

The winter 1916 ends with the invasion of Serbia and Montenegro and unrestricted submarine warfare. And the spring of 1916 starts with the Battle of Verdun at the Western Front and Russian successes in Anatolia. The British are in trouble in Ireland and in Mesopotamia but are still carving up the Middle East in the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The Eastern Front drowns in spring thaws while the Russian homefront is in disarray.

April 22, 2016

The Muddy Graves of Russia and Kut I THE GREAT WAR Week 91

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

Published on 21 Apr 2016

With the spring in Russia and the Caucasus came the thaws on the Eastern Front and all the way down to Mesopotamia. The soldiers had to adapt to survive let alone fight. The Battle of Verdun still rages on though the French are not moving more airplanes to the area to break the German air superiority.

April 15, 2016

The Meat Grinder at Verdun – Brusilov’s New Plan I THE GREAT WAR Week 90

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

Published on 14 Apr 2016

The Russian offensive at Lake Naroch were an utter failure but the Russian General Aleksei Brusilov is already gearing up for the future mother of all offensives on the Eastern Front. At the same time the meat grinder at Verdun is sucking in German and French troops alive. Erich von Falkenhayn realised that his initial idea probably won’t work but he still tries to capture the Mort Homme and Cote 304. In far away Mesopotamia the siege of Kut is still going on even though the British and Indian soldiers are already killing the hunger with Opium pills.

April 3, 2016

QotD: What might trigger a new war in Europe

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

I have said on a few occasions that, in my opinion, based on my reading of history, wars are, as often as not, caused by fear. Even Vladimir Putin’s naked aggression is, I think, a result of his fear of what is happening to Russia: a steady decline back into political and strategic irrelevance. It is not at all unreasonable to suppose that fear of the societal changes that very large scale migrations will bring cannot and will not provoke people into electing governments that will, out of fear of the unknown, attack their neighbours in a misguided effort to sauve qui peut in their own societies.

I think Sir Max [Hastings]’s “think-tank friend in Washington,” was (still is) wrong when he “observed last week: ‘Democracy only works where there is a broad consensus about the distribution of wealth and power.’ And it is because this consensus faces unprecedented stresses in consequence of migration in Europe, that he believes some factions may resort to violence, even outright war.” The “broad consensus” is not about wealth or power, it is about respecting the rules, living with and within the “institutions” which make democracy work. Those institutions are strong in e.g. Britain, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries; they are weaker in e.g. France, which, for example, tossed out a democratic government and constitution in 1958 when the Algerian war went sour.; they are weaker still, in my opinion, in the entire “Southern tier” of Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and the Balkans and in the Eastern European states that only recently tossed off the yoke of Russian/communist rule. If trouble is going to start it will happen, I think, in those weaker states. A European war is likely to start when one of the countries with weaker institutions decides, our of fear, that it must break the rules that hold Europe together.

Ted Campbell, “Everyman’s Strategic Survey: Europe(2)”, Ted Campbell’s Point of View, 2016-03-22.

March 27, 2016

The Russian Navy – Submarines – Trench Mortar I OUT OF THE TRENCHES

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

Published on 26 Mar 2016

More pictures from Flo’s Great Grandfather: https://imgur.com/a/R1T92

It’s chair of wisdom time again and this week we talk about the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea, submarine warfare and trench mortars.

March 25, 2016

Russian Spring Offensive – Confusion at Fort Vaux I THE GREAT WAR Week 87

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

Published on 24 Mar 2016

The Russians want to relieve the pressure of their French allies at Verdun by starting a huge spring offensive near Lake Narroch. But this is not the only reason: The spring thaws are coming and the Germans on the Eastern Front have the high ground. At the same time, the epic struggle at Verdun is continuing: Neither the French nor the German Army can gain a decisive advantage at Fort Vaux. At sea, the British use the depth charge successfully for the first time and the German ship Greif tries to run the British Blockade.

February 19, 2016

The Ghost Of The Lusitania – Russia Takes Erzurum I THE GREAT WAR – Week 82

Filed under: Europe, History, Military, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 18 Feb 2016

The sinking of the Lusitania is still causing diplomatic tensions between Germany and the USA. While the Germans insist they were forced by the British blockade to adopt unrestricted submarine warfare, the Americans think otherwise. In the meantime the Russian Army is taking Erzurum in the Caucasus and the big offensive at Verdun is delayed for a week.

February 12, 2016

The Generalissimo Goes Forth I THE GREAT WAR – Week 81

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 11 Feb 2016

The situation for the Italian soldiers was dire during the winter battles, but even though Luigi “The Generalissimo” Cadorna maintained a tight grip on the strategy used, the equipment of the Italian soldiers was greatly improved. At the same time, the Russians were advancing on Erzurum in the Turkish Caucasus and war at sea counted a few more casualties on all sides.

February 6, 2016

Germany Aims For Verdun – Russia Goes South I THE GREAT WAR Week 80

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

Published on 4 Feb 2016

The preparations for the huge German offensive at Verdun are almost complete. Thousands of artillery pieces are moved, millions shells brought to the front. Erich von Falkenhayn would soon unleash is offensive on the Western Front. At the same time, Russia headed south to the Caucasus once more in search for a desperately needed victory against the Ottomans.

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