Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > American History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

American History American History Forum - United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old March 26th, 2014, 02:04 AM   #61

Kevinmeath's Avatar
Acting Corporal
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Navan, Ireland
Posts: 12,479

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
Lusitania was listed in Jane's as an auxiliary cruiser - a legitimate military target.
But it wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
I find it odd, and not a little hypocritical, that this attack on one ship, justified or not, or Germany's use of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, is considered such a heinous act, while the allied blockade of Germany, maintained until 1919, long after the armistice, and which accounted for hundreds of thousands of dead civilians (estimates vary as to the actual number - something in excess of 400,000 civilian deaths appears to be the middle number), gets no criticism at all. Certainly the US had no qualms about adopting unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan in WW2, issuing that order just six hours after the Pearl Harbor raid.
The British Blockade was not carried out via unrestricted warfare and why on earth would the British lift the blockade before the peace treaties?
Kevinmeath is online now  
Remove Ads
Old March 26th, 2014, 02:11 AM   #62

Tercios Espanoles's Avatar
Gonfaloniere
 
Joined: Mar 2014
From: Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
Posts: 6,403
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
But it wasn't.
Wasn't an auxiliary cruiser or wasn't a legitimate target? You lost me.

Quote:
The British Blockade was not carried out via unrestricted warfare and why on earth would the British lift the blockade before the peace treaties?
Dead civilians are dead civilians. Naming food as war material and subject to interdiction can have only one object.
Tercios Espanoles is offline  
Old March 26th, 2014, 02:25 AM   #63

Kevinmeath's Avatar
Acting Corporal
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Navan, Ireland
Posts: 12,479

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
Wasn't an auxiliary cruiser or wasn't a legitimate target? You lost me.
But it wasn't an auxiliary cruiser therefore no it wasn't a legitimate target.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
Dead civilians are dead civilians. Naming food as war material and subject to interdiction can have only one object.
Do soldiers eat? do sailors eat? do munitions workers eat? do transport works eat?

Food has been interdicted in blockades since the start of such things.

Why should they lift the blockade before the peace treaties?
Kevinmeath is online now  
Old March 26th, 2014, 02:44 AM   #64

Tercios Espanoles's Avatar
Gonfaloniere
 
Joined: Mar 2014
From: Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
Posts: 6,403
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
But it wasn't an auxiliary cruiser therefore no it wasn't a legitimate target.
It was listed as such and therefore was. Her sisterships were both requisitioned and served in military roles after her sinking. Her cargo of munitions, some 50 tons or more, admittedly unknown to U-20, makes her a legitimate target regardless.

Quote:
Do soldiers eat? do sailors eat? do munitions workers eat? do transport works eat?

Food has been interdicted in blockades since the start of such things.
What is done and what is right are not the same question.

Quote:
Why should they lift the blockade before the peace treaties?
A relaxation on interdiction of foodstuffs at that point wouldn't have hurt the allied war effort at all.
Tercios Espanoles is offline  
Old March 26th, 2014, 09:57 PM   #65
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,282

Yes the Allied Blockade did interfere with US trade but it wasn't killing US citizens.

The Blockade was legal, aspects of it;s implementation were debatable.

The studies are about civilians deaths, without seeing the details about them, they are not nesscarily directly a result of the blockade.

the German empire could have fed it;s people if it made choices to do so, it preferred sending resources to the war economy.

Food blockade was lifted in jan 1919 given the problems with sorting stuff out, the Germans could have imported food more quickly after the war but didn't want to use their own ships in the armistice period, (lest they be seized if the war recommenced)
pugsville is offline  
Old April 20th, 2014, 01:06 PM   #66
Citizen
 
Joined: Apr 2014
From: North Carolina
Posts: 15

Where to start? My view is that nothing good came of the intervention of the US in WWI. Wilson had a messianic vision of his role in world affairs. Unfortunately, his views continue to pervade American foreign policy even to this day. As H.L. Mencken said, "Wilson was the perfect Christian Cad. The self-bamboozled Protestant savior of the World." His success at putting himself at the center of the discussions of the Treaty of Versailles and subsequent failure to deliver harmed the US from 1920-1939. He also projected the image of the US as a naive player on the international stage.

The US in 1914 was a divided nation. German and Irish Americans (who constituted approximately 30-35% of the population) had no love for Great Britain. Wilson won the election of 1912 with a plurality but not a majority of the American electorate. He could not lead the nation into war.

At the onset of the war, Britain cut the transatlantic cable between the continent and the US. Consequently, the US was subjected to British propaganda regarding Belgium and the German atrocities. While the burning of Louvain was a cultural disaster, the British managed the news to portray the Germans as monsters instead of young men subject to the strains of combat and myths from previous wars. A naive America seemed to swallow this nonsense hook line and sinker. (Yes, the Germans perpetrated atrocities but on a much more limited scale than the British conveyed to the US.)

While the sinking of the Lusitania was a public relations disaster, the Germans had warned Americans that sailing on this ship was risky, Americans ignored the warning. The fact that the ship was carrying munitions was revealed in subsequent documents. Meanwhile, American industrialists e.g., Bethlehelm Steel and others were making a fortune selling to the Allies.

With Wilson's victory in the 1916 on a platform of "He kept us out of war", he had a freer hand to involve the US in the War. His efforts to whip up anti-German hysteria were all too successful. The US entered the conflict in April 1917. The Germans had gambled that they could defeat the French and British before the US manpower could make a difference. They almost succeeded.

While US manpower, and its rapid growth on the continent, helped to discourage a very tired and disillusioned German Army in late 1918, I think that nothing good came from Wilson's sacrifice of American lives to buy a place at the table for the peace conference. At the end, he sold out every one of his 14 points(a dubious notion from the start) except the League of Nations. BTW, US behavior during the recent Iraq war is a reminder of the silliness of 1917-18. Freedom fries instead of French fries versus Liberty cabbage instead of sauerkraut.
American Cynical Optimist is offline  
Old April 20th, 2014, 01:20 PM   #67

Kotromanic's Avatar
McCartneynite-Lennonist
 
Joined: Dec 2011
From: Iowa USA
Posts: 3,655
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by American Cynical Optimist View Post
Where to start? My view is that nothing good came of the intervention of the US in WWI. Wilson had a messianic vision of his role in world affairs. Unfortunately, his views continue to pervade American foreign policy even to this day. As H.L. Mencken said, "Wilson was the perfect Christian Cad. The self-bamboozled Protestant savior of the World." His success at putting himself at the center of the discussions of the Treaty of Versailles and subsequent failure to deliver harmed the US from 1920-1939. He also projected the image of the US as a naive player on the international stage.

The US in 1914 was a divided nation. German and Irish Americans (who constituted approximately 30-35% of the population) had no love for Great Britain. Wilson won the election of 1912 with a plurality but not a majority of the American electorate. He could not lead the nation into war.

At the onset of the war, Britain cut the transatlantic cable between the continent and the US. Consequently, the US was subjected to British propaganda regarding Belgium and the German atrocities. While the burning of Louvain was a cultural disaster, the British managed the news to portray the Germans as monsters instead of young men subject to the strains of combat and myths from previous wars. A naive America seemed to swallow this nonsense hook line and sinker. (Yes, the Germans perpetrated atrocities but on a much more limited scale than the British conveyed to the US.)

While the sinking of the Lusitania was a public relations disaster, the Germans had warned Americans that sailing on this ship was risky, Americans ignored the warning. The fact that the ship was carrying munitions was revealed in subsequent documents. Meanwhile, American industrialists e.g., Bethlehelm Steel and others were making a fortune selling to the Allies.

With Wilson's victory in the 1916 on a platform of "He kept us out of war", he had a freer hand to involve the US in the War. His efforts to whip up anti-German hysteria were all too successful. The US entered the conflict in April 1917. The Germans had gambled that they could defeat the French and British before the US manpower could make a difference. They almost succeeded.

While US manpower, and its rapid growth on the continent, helped to discourage a very tired and disillusioned German Army in late 1918, I think that nothing good came from Wilson's sacrifice of American lives to buy a place at the table for the peace conference. At the end, he sold out every one of his 14 points(a dubious notion from the start) except the League of Nations. BTW, US behavior during the recent Iraq war is a reminder of the silliness of 1917-18. Freedom fries instead of French fries versus Liberty cabbage instead of sauerkraut.
While my own conclusions on Wilson tend to be negative, and while I actually tend to be in sympathy with some assessments in your post.... much of the above post reads more like a diatribe than a presentation of evidence.

To the statement that the American delegation capitulated on 13 of the 14 Points, in particular:
in the 1910s Polish-Americans were still to be organized by either of the political parties in most of the Northern cities, there was not much domestic political ground to be gained by supporting the point on a robust Polish state. Lloyd George was generally a "dove" on the question of the German-Polish frontier, the Americans broke ranks from the U.K. on this question. The Polish corridor to the Baltic was actively supported by the American delegation.
Kotromanic is offline  
Old April 20th, 2014, 02:09 PM   #68
Citizen
 
Joined: Apr 2014
From: North Carolina
Posts: 15

Hmm, I suppose that some of my language may read as a diatribe, it was not my intention. As to the facts, Wilson won the 1912 election after the Republicans split between Teddy Roosevelt (The Bull Moose Party) and William Howard Taft. Roosevelt consistently lobbied for US intervention in the War after Wilson's election. Wilson tried to stay out. However, he had a strange notion of neutrality i.e., selling arms primarily to the Allies. However, Wilson had no problem intervening in the Mexican Civil War i.e., the Villa expedition.

As to the Lusitania, the Germans published a notice in newspapers warning potential passengers.

An article published in an historical journal which reviewed German soldier's war diaries confirmed the shooting of civilians. However, the scale was much smaller than the British claimed.

As to Poland, a review of Fritz Fisher's book on German War aims during WWI reveals that Germany intended to reconstitute Poland after the war. The exact boundaries are unclear in my mind but the Germans wanted a zone of buffer states between themselves and Russia after the war. Poland and Ukraine would be a major part of that buffer. Sorta looks like the current map of Europe.
American Cynical Optimist is offline  
Old April 20th, 2014, 02:24 PM   #69

Kotromanic's Avatar
McCartneynite-Lennonist
 
Joined: Dec 2011
From: Iowa USA
Posts: 3,655
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by American Cynical Optimist View Post
As to Poland, a review of Fritz Fisher's book on German War aims during WWI reveals that Germany intended to reconstitute Poland after the war. The exact boundaries are unclear in my mind but the Germans wanted a zone of buffer states between themselves and Russia after the war. Poland and Ukraine would be a major part of that buffer. Sorta looks like the current map of Europe.
The question of whether the German anti-partisan ops in Belgium rise to the level of war crimes (as understood in 1914) seems to still be contested on this site. That the British were more skilled at communications with America than Germany is not contested on this site.

Germany created a rump Polish state if memory serves in early 1916. As you indicate the intention was for Poland and (later) Ukraine to be source of raw materials under German war socialism. The Weimar regime in 1919 did lose prestige domestically by having to return to the Poles portions of Silesia, Pomerania and bits of East Prussia. I believe that Lloyd George was so concerned that Germany was on the brink of "going Red" that he advocated the softer stance on the boundary between Germany and Poland (so that Weimar could claim to have "faced down" the French on at least one significant issue). Recall that in January and again in March of '19 Berlin was the scene of street fighting in which the Far Left shot its bolt.
Kotromanic is offline  
Old April 20th, 2014, 02:42 PM   #70
Scholar
 
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 578

Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
The Blockade was legal, aspects of it;s implementation were debatable.
As far as I know, the word "blockade" was avoided by the belligerents simply because they couldn't impose a legal blockade according to what nations agreed on as naval law prior to WW1 (which isn't simple to define since not all treaties were agreed on by all nations).

Both sides instead relied heavily on the principle of retaliation, i.e. if they thought that the other side broke the law, they saw it as a reason to also break it.

Additionally the UK looked for precedences, often from the US civil war, and extended them to cover policies which were beyond what was previously imposed outside of a legal blockade to impose a de facto blockade.

Whether this was legal or not is probably an extremely difficult question which can be quite convincingly be argued from both sides. But I think that it's clear that what the delegates of the naval conference in 1906 thought about a blockade differs strongly from what happened after 1914.

Edit: I think the London declaration was 1909, not 1906 as I wrote.

Last edited by Hans321; April 20th, 2014 at 03:12 PM.
Hans321 is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > American History

Tags
joined, ww1



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just joined Isaac Kappstein New Users 8 November 22nd, 2013 04:53 AM
just joined ricbretz New Users 15 August 26th, 2013 06:48 AM
Just Joined MarkUK New Users 11 August 4th, 2013 11:56 PM
Just joined - hello AncientGardener New Users 19 September 13th, 2012 10:43 PM
Hello everyone, I just joined! mysteryshvitz New Users 21 June 1st, 2010 05:40 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.