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Old December 28th, 2017, 02:03 PM   #21

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Being a manager I know that to "command" a large number of persons and to have great responsibilities means to be in a position to make also tremendous mistakes.

A wrong decision can affect the life of dozens of families. Not a little responsibility.

But you have to take decisions.

This said, we should [always] consider the proper historical context.

Today we could make a giant trial for war crimes against almost all the historical leaders of the far past [Caesar and Alexander included]. But it would be wrong ...
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Old December 28th, 2017, 02:12 PM   #22

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
.
For Australians Winston Churchill always was a dangerous buffoon
that's not new , that's a long held belief

There was Gallipoli ,then there was the disaster of Greece and Crete
In that respect, may I indulge in some "trashing" here?

Winston Churchill wanted the second front in Europe to be opened up in the Balkan peninsula. His plan, or hope was that the Allies would advance north and cut off the Soviets to stop Stalin from taking half of Europe.

You would think after the disaster that was Gallipoli, he might've learned something about strategy. Besides General Eisenhower dismissed Churchill's plan.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 02:33 PM   #23

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Here's one historical figure who in my opinion, deserves to be trashed - Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig - also nicknamed "Butcher".

This "Red Tab" was involved in the "Shot at Dawn" controversy. I suggest you read the book by Julian Putowski about this controversial aspect of history. Believe it or not, Haig wanted British army firing squads to execute American soldiers. Didn't happen, thankfully. Australia had expressly forbidden executions of this nature. All because he believed executions were "an example to others".

By 1917, Haig had embarked on a war of attrition. His mantra was "Kill more Germans".

Read more here -http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/3670201/Was-Field-Marshal-Haig-a-hero-or-dunderhead.html
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Old December 28th, 2017, 03:08 PM   #24

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
Here's one historical figure who in my opinion, deserves to be trashed - Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig - also nicknamed "Butcher".
Actually if you read WWI history he is most likely one of the most unfairly maligned figures in history whose reputation owes as much to the 1960's as it does reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
This "Red Tab" was involved in the "Shot at Dawn" controversy.
He was a Staff officer therefore had red tabs .

The British sentenced men to death in the period (as did almost everyone) but the British army commuted almost 90% of cases to prison, occasionally they carried out the sentences.

Its only a 'controversy' because of modern sensibilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
I suggest you read the book by Julian Putowski about this controversial aspect of history. controversy.
Tell me why should soldiers who ignore their guard duties and settle down for a comfortable nights sleep leaving their comrades open to slaughter be forgiven and not executed?

Why should Chinese labour Corps members who murder each other over gambling debts not be executed?

Why should NCO's who run leaving young soldiers to be slaughtered not be executed?

Especially in the context of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
Believe it or not, Haig wanted British army firing squads to execute American soldiers. Didn't happen, thankfully..
Got a source for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
Australia had expressly forbidden executions of this nature. All because he believed executions were "an example to others"..
Actually no.

Australian Courts Martial , staffed by Australians sentenced Australian soldiers to death. However the British governor general refused to confirm any of these sentences for whatever reason.

It should also be noted that military discipline in Australian units was poor.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
By 1917, Haig had embarked on a war of attrition. His mantra was "Kill more Germans"..
He wasn't the only general to do this and he actually won, doing something no other British general has had to face.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
Read more here -http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/3670201/Was-Field-Marshal-Haig-a-hero-or-dunderhead.html
Books that do exactly what the thread OP says.

Last edited by Kevinmeath; December 28th, 2017 at 03:35 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 03:19 PM   #25

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
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For Australians Winston Churchill always was a dangerous buffoon
that's not new , that's a long held belief

There was Gallipoli ,then there was the disaster of Greece and Crete
there was his bland abandonment of Australia New Zealand after Singapore while holding to a steadfast refusal to send the Australian troops back from the middle East to defend their homes.
This led to the Australian government in an official speech announcing that henceforth they would turn to the US for their National security

He was a political failure and a backstabber until the job fell on his lap allowing him a grand stage to play his histrionics
For him the colonial Empire was everything

He is on par with his wannabe imitator Boris Johnson
So you are a spokesman for Australia?

and it would seem little knowledge of actual history.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
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For Australians Winston Churchill always was a dangerous buffoon
that's not new , that's a long held belief
Disagree most Australians have a fairly standard simplistic view of Churchill in line with the General popular history mythology. The study of History is not that popular.

Quote:
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.There was Gallipoli ,then there was the disaster of Greece and Crete
Politicians are not great strategists very often. Greece was a political decision to intervene even if it was a loss.( politically Churchill said that attempt must be made to support Greece no matter how futile ) Don't see how Churchill was responsible for Crete. HIs was interfering Political leader with no real aptitude for strategy like every other political leader. He managed the US relationship well.

Quote:
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there was his bland abandonment of Australia New Zealand after Singapore while holding to a steadfast refusal to send the Australian troops back from the middle East to defend their homes.
The Australian troops were sent home. What exactly could Britain do in the south Pacific?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
This led to the Australian government in an official speech announcing that henceforth they would turn to the US for their National security
The US attitude was no different form Britain or Churchill's. Australia was a useful base, the US wanted to use it. There was no more real concern for Australians. It's been a failing to just replace Britain with the US as if these powers a long way away have any real ability to rise above their self interest.


Quote:
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He was a political failure and a backstabber until the job fell on his lap allowing him a grand stage to play his histrionics
He was fairly popular and respected (if not entirely trusted) and selected by his peers when they needed a wartime leader. He had been a political opportunist times they he did have some core political policies that he was mostly true to.

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For him the colonial Empire was everything
No quibbles there an unapologetic Imperialist.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 07:11 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
.
My very own pet bloated over-inflated reputation .....Winston Churchill

It is impossible to overstate the contribution that Churchill made to Britain and the world.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 12:48 AM   #28

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Originally Posted by Kaficek View Post
So are we not allowed to pass moral judgments on historical figures? If so, at what point does it become acceptable to do so? Is Hitler fair game?

People often talk about viewing things "in the context of their time", which is fair enough, but then whose point of view are we looking at in their time? People have rarely been of one mind. From Hitler's point of view he was probably on the right track, and others clearly agreed with him. What does it mean to judge him in the context of his time if opinion was divided then (as now).

Alexander the Great was indeed criticised by his contemporaries and has been ever since. The OP mentioned Genghis Khan, but is there some new politically correct campaign against him? He's been one of the most vilified figures in western historiography since Atilla the Hun. "The context of his time" certainly included bitter hatreds that dwarf any modern criticism.

I'm not really sure what issue this thread is trying to address.
Hitler is still in the living memory of millions of people and is not a figure from the past, yet.

I'm more concerned with the trend to trash far more ordinary people, for instance Edward Colston, who in the 17th Century founded with his own money a school in Bristol. This year, on the school's founders day, mention of Colston's name was forbidden, and the school will be renamed in 2020. Why? because Colston was engaged in the slave trade. Also in Bristol, the university students are full of "rage" about a prominent city landmark, the Wills Memorial Tower, built to honour Henry Wills, the man who founded the university. Why this synthetic rage against Wills?, because the money he used to found the university came from the tobacco trade. We are told that the name of the school and the tower "glorify" slavery, and nobody dare argue against this in the current climate of hate engendered by those engaged in using the past for their own present day political agenda.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 01:33 AM   #29

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.
Should you have an interest on the subject , there is an abundance of sources ,
not all come from my pub ( we call them Hotel here )
my humble scholarship is unequal to the task , I'm sure yours will clarifies the subject

From the Sydney Morning Herald
50 years on: Australia's reaction to Winston Churchill's death

" ...of all the self-governing dominions it was, throughout his career, with Australia that Churchill most frequently locked horns.

In his earliest days as a minister he sought, unsuccessfully, to block Deakin's invitation to President Theodore Roosevelt for the US Great White Fleet, as it cruised the Pacific, to include Australia.
Within a decade he had a very major hand in the Gallipoli campaign, a conflict which, even in the late 1950s, according to celebrity researcher Ann Moyal (who knew him), "still haunted him".

In the 1930s and early years of World War II, Empire defences in the Pacific were a major source of friction. Australian participation in the ill-fated Greek campaign was another source of contention.

After Japan entered the war, relations reached a low ebb over, first, recall of Australian troops from the Middle East, and then Churchill's attempt to divert the troop convoys to Burma.
In these tense times he noisily complained that nothing much better could be expected from"bad stock".
When he spoke openly in cabinet meetings about "the troublesome attitudes of the colonies", it seemed that Australia was the chief offender.
In his second prime ministership he struggled, again without success, for incorporation of Britain within the ANZUS Pact.

Churchill never visited Australia: he once told his doctor that "they want me to go to Australia and New Zealand, but I haven't the heart or strength or life for it".
One historian has observed that Churchill's name and image was the "source of division in Australian party politics" that had no equivalent in New Zealand, Canada or the United States. "

Some more on Churchill

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill betrays Australia at the Arcadia Conference in 1941

Last edited by sparky; December 29th, 2017 at 01:37 AM.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 06:05 AM   #30

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaficek View Post
So are we not allowed to pass moral judgments on historical figures? If so, at what point does it become acceptable to do so? Is Hitler fair game?

People often talk about viewing things "in the context of their time", which is fair enough, but then whose point of view are we looking at in their time? People have rarely been of one mind. From Hitler's point of view he was probably on the right track, and others clearly agreed with him. What does it mean to judge him in the context of his time if opinion was divided then (as now).

.................................................. ....

You really have to try and understand context and should only pass 'moral judgements ' on past figures with extreme caution.

So for instance Richard I (Lionheart) is often condemned for being a violent warlord who loved fighting and spent little time in England. But in that period of time a 'good King' was supposed to be a warlord his contemporaries actually thought of him as a great King its only by using modern values does he become a 'bad King'. Also although titled King of England he actually ruled more of France than the King of France so of course he spent little time in England.

If I found out that my neighbour was about to marry his fourteen year old daughter to a middle aged Soldier/Merchant I would be disgusted and contact the police. But that's 21st century Ireland not 1st century Rome when reactions would be completely different.
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