Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Brutal Hun.

This is coolbert:

With regard to the atrocity links from my recent blog entry, let me ask you this?

Why such a widespread occurrence of atrocities in World War Two [WW2], BUT NOT in World War One [WW1]?

Am I imagining things, or was this sort of thing, the atrocity, NOT prevalent in WW1?

Why did “things” in WW2 get so far out of hand?

I know that there WERE atrocity stories that were in circulation during WW1. Widely believed, but for the most part NOT TRUE.

These were the “stories” of the BRUTAL HUN!! The German bad guy acting “true to his basic nature”.

“Stories” such as: [“stories” in the sense of a novel - - fiction.]

* The rape of English nurses.

[rape in particular really has a strong emotional effect upon an intended target audience. Good propaganda always should include rape stories.]

* The crucifixion of Canadian soldiers.

* The use of Belgian babies for bayonet practice. [toss the little baby into the air, stick him with the bayonet on the way down!!]


In the aftermath of the war, most if not all of the most lurid “atrocity” stories WERE found to be fiction. The BRUTAL HUN was found NOT to be so brutal. At least in WW1.

I am sure that there WERE acts committed in WW1 that could be classified as atrocities. Barbara Tuchman in her book, “The Guns of August”, describes the deliberate arson to the library at Leuven, Belgium. Burned down by the German in retaliation for the killings of German soldiers by franc-de-tieurs [irregulars]. This particular library was a repository for many of the original works from the masters of the renaissance.

"The Francs-tireurs partisans (FTP, 'Partisan irregular riflemen')"

[there seems to be something in the nature of the German military [not necessarily confined to them?] that detest with a particular hatred the franc-de-tieurs. The irregular combatant. The guerrilla, the insurgent, the terrorist, etc. The "Hun" reacts in a disproportionate manner when confronted with the actions of the irregular!]

The burning of libraries does resonate as the act of the BARBARIAN!! The BARBARIAN attacking the civilized and destroying something that he, the BARBARIAN, cannot understand or appreciate, or even WANTS to!!

Such was the case when the Mongol under Hulagu burned the libraries of Baghdad in 1258. The Mongol took a particular relish in destroying all the books they could find, destruction for the sheer sake of destruction, and done with GLEE!! Such relates the Arab who chronicled the events that transpired.

"The Mongols . . . conquered Baghdad in the 13th century. At that time, Baghdad was a center of learning and culture with 36 public libraries. The Mongols eagerly sacked them, ripping the leather covers from books to resole their shoes, burning manuscripts, and dumping thousands of volumes into the Tigris River. According to contemporary accounts, the water ran black with the ink."

So too the burning of the great library in Alexandria, Egypt by the Romans under Julius Caesar can also be considered to be an act of BARBARISM. This act of the SAVAGE, while not perhaps intentional, still did occur. The destruction of this library was a calamity. The single largest depository of ancient works of literature, history, science, in the world, at the time. When we speak of the ancients, we are talking about people that were ancient in the time of Caesar!!!

"It has been estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full time to perform research, write, lecture or translate and copy documents."

[among the works lost in the great library at Alexandria were the history of the world, from 40,000 B.C. to present [present in this case was just prior to the birth of JESUS!!], by Berossus.]

And let us not forget in the year 2003:

"So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives ?a priceless treasure of Ottoman historical documents, including the old royal archives of Iraq ? were turned to ashes in 3,000 degrees of heat. Then the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment was set ablaze."

[Let me make it perfectly clear. It was the Iraqi, the Iraqi, the Iraqi themselves that did the damage. THEY ALONE, acting with malice aforethought and total reckless disregard, did all the damage. Foolish, ignorant, hate filled Iraqi vandals and looters and NO OTHER! DO NOT BLAME the American forces!!]

Atrocity in WW1? Yes, must have occurred. But compared to WW2, a nothing?

[go here and see a very fine Masters degree paper by Penelope Hamblin on the historical burning of libraries in war time.]




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty good link to regarding Louvain Massacres, destruction and wanton savagery by the Germans. Though the Bryce Report is said to be deeply flawed.

I can't prove it, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did crucify that Canadian.

However, I don't think that crucifixtion was a deliberate policy of the German army. But you have many pissed off people with rifles and their blood is up. They have probably seen friends killed and they may have been wounded themselves and snipers, sappers and pilots had better make sure they don't get captured.
Why do civilians get killed? One reason that seems to pop up quite a bit is something along the lines of, "Why didn't you tell us that that the door/road/whatever was boobytrapped. You had to know! You had to know that a sniper was using your hayloft as a firing position! You said nothing!" Guilt by association. Totally unfair, but it happens.
In regards to the looting/burning and destruction of the libraries and museum in Iraq, our people there will be wrong in the media, world opinion, anti-war types, the usual suspects, no matter what they do. I could only imgaine if they had shot the looters what the outcry would be. If they don't put a stop to the Iraqis wrecking their own institutions they are heartless bastards who stood by and watched the destruction. If they stepped in and shot looters, they are heartless bastards who shot people over burning books and artifacts.
One final thought on atrocities in WW1. Not mobile enough on the Western Front and the mindset of Naziism and Communism was not in existence yet. Check the Eastern Front, much more mobile and some crazier stuff went on. It is a sure bet that when the Huns and Mongols(Russians) go at it, things are going to be bad.

11:22 AM

Blogger Albert said...

This is Bert: When we speak of library, please do not think of this being your local, every-day local public branch library. These were libraries that had the ORIGINAL works of the author of which ONLY a few copies may have been in existance. Priceless as they say. To have a library dedicated and having a large collection of such works was even beyond priceless. When gone, gone forever.


10:10 PM


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