This treaty is another good example of the collateral damage to be expected when states join in wars with the express intention of gaining territory, though the war in question has nothing or little to do with them. In the First or Great War of the 20th century, Hungary, because of its alliances with Austria, fought against the Western allies. Romania, sensing a chance to do well out of it, declared for the allies.
The Treaty of Versailles decreed that Hungary, among the states which fought for the loser, Germany, should share the blame and pay the price. After the four terrible years spent mostly advancing and retreating over the trenches were over, Hungary became a Republic, but a Communist revolt established a Communist administration in 1919. This failed, and a monarchical regime (in name only) was introduced with a new constitution, under the leadership of Admiral Horthy. Continue reading →
A bit of a dirty word since 1938 but it shouldn’t be. There is enough appeasement going on now over the disgusting situation in Syria to fill the Golden Bowl with appeasers eager to keep Assad Junior happy. It is all rather puzzling. With one Bush, America went with its cautious allies to war against Iraq because Saddam invaded Kuwait. Firepower won, of course, but Saddam’s government remained! Then Bush Jr. went to war with Iraq with equally cautious allies, beat him up, and permitted the locals to lynch Saddam in a particularly horrible way. Now in Syria the Assad boy kills hundreds of fellow citizens every day, even using poison gas to do it, and the world’s committees sit expensively around asking themselves what to do. Continue reading →
Triumphant remilitarization, the Rhineland 1936 / iwm.org.uk
The ill-prepared and unfortunate Treaty of Versailles (q.v.) had left the left bank of the Rhine plus an area 50 kilometres deep on its right bank permanently demilitarized by order. This order was made again at the signing of the Treaties at Locarno in 1925. Britain and Italy (!) were to be the guarantors.
German governments since 1918/19 had wished to terminate the demilitarization, for the natural reason that it decreased German authority and, worse, exposed the very centre of German industry (the Ruhr) to a possible French attack. Continue reading →
Landing at Templehof during the airlift /wikipedia.org
Berlin was the capital of Germany from 1871, though it was also the capital of Prussia. When the capital moved from Bonn after the Second War, Berlin became again the capital and hub of Germany, but after the War the city found itself 110 kilometres inside the Russian Zone of a Germany divided (at various hideous conferences) into four: Russian, American, British and French sectors. The city itself was divided into West Berlin (480 sq.km.) and East Berlin (403 sq.km.). West Berlin was administered and governed by the United States, Great Britain and France, each having their Sector and military HQ. East Berlin was governed by the Communist GDR, under the military eye of around 200 divisions of Russian troops. West Berlin could probably muster a division and a half, and had its own (American) military commander. There was a complete military imbalance in all the post-war period. Continue reading →
Researchers have tried to find cogent reasons for Hitler’s pathological hatred of the Jews. Nothing in his childhood in Austria happened which might have sown the seeds of that poisonous dislike growing in his innermost soul. His military service during the Great War brought him wounds, but what influence could Jewish people have had on him in the trenches? The enemy was British or French, not Jewish. Continue reading →
The fight between the Japanese and Russia was (and is) significant because it was all about control of both Manchuria and Korea. The Japanese launched an unexpected and unheralded assault on Russian warships anchored in their Manchurian naval base at Port Arthur. Pearl Harbor 37 years later was a sequel (Port Arthur now has another name of course).
Spectator sports they are called, presumably because they are designed for watching by spectators. Soccer, cricket, boxing, tennis, rugby and athletics were nursed, improved and nurtured in hundreds of independent (public) schools in Victorian Britain. Some, like boxing and athletics, had existed in the time of the original Greek Olympics, but they would have become forgotten relics of the past if it had not been for ‘sportin’ instincts’ of young people from the British Isles. Continue reading →
Eric von Falkenhayn was born in 1861, scion of a typical ‘Junker’ family, which means ‘powerful, noble, landowning, and, not infrequently, bullying and proud as well’. At school he showed intelligence, honesty, self-reliance and bravery, qualities that did not desert him either at military college or later when he was commissioned. Continue reading →
Hundreds of comments have been posted on General-History following publication last year of the article on The Holocaust. Some comments are learnéd, some are not. Many are openly anti-Semitic. A few show sympathy with the victims. Some question the figures quoted. Anyone can find out the figures for themselves simply by making enquiries in any office of records in any of the countries I am about to list, or simply asking for statistics in Tel Aviv. For those commentarists who claim the Holocaust did not actually happen one feels sorry for those who must endure life near them. Continue reading →
It seems more than likely that Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula by this fifteenth century ruler in Transvylvania, whose father bore the nickname ‘Dracul’ (which simply means Dragon). On his shield when he went into battle (which was often) was a dragon. The suffix ‘a’ was later added by Orthodox scribes, making a Slavonic genitive into Latin to create a surname equivalent to ‘son of Dracul’. The eager student must travel to Transylvania where he/she can see many documents signed Dragwyla, Voivoda partium Transalpinorum. Continue reading →