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View Diary: The Night the Guns Fell Silent on the Western Front - December 24, 1914 (Update) (59 comments)

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  •  I always wondered... (16+ / 0-)

    I always wondered what it must have felt like to be one of the soldiers during the Christmas Truce -- to come face to face with the fact that the entire idea of the war was a sham and that the people they were trying to kill and who were trying to kill them weren't their enemies at all -- the only real enemy was the war itself that they were all unwittingly swept up in... Must have made it even harder when the killing started again.

    The sort of conspiracy theorist in me kind of thinks that's the reason we don't really talk about WWI in this country... WWII is a great story about good vs. evil -- it's the epitome of a just war and a great potential analogy for any conflict your country might want to get involved in. WWI teaches us something different -- sometimes wars happen for no reason. Sometimes millions die for nothing.

    •  WW1 hardly affected America the way it did in (9+ / 0-)

      Europe. America was only in the war for a year and a half and missed much of the slaughter, not to mention the destruction. !00,000 dead as opposed to a couple of million French or a million British/Commonwealth. Regimes fall, social orders changed, countries changed or even came into being.

       While it was Americas debut on the world stage, so to speak, life in the US pretty much carried on as before.
      Not quite the impact of WW2 and the social change it brought to American society.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 11:45:21 PM PST

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      •  Exactly, eastvan. And something else - (5+ / 0-)

        communication capabilities have improved as medical advances did. There were no where near the returning vets from WW1 as WW2, and we saw Vietnam on TV as well as the large numbers of vets.

        The vets from the recent Miiddle East actions are surviving wounds that would have doomed them in the world wars.

        Now we need to become the country they all fought for.

        “In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose. Molly Ivins

        by glorificus on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 07:34:41 AM PST

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    •  I imagine it felt like a big (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Fuck You to both sides' generals.  Those soldiers didn't have a beef with each other.  As for the generals, it was their worst nightmare.

      A movement quickly popped up among British veterans to end the war.  Every time one of them had a LTE published, the newspapers felt compelled to publish pro-war drivel such as this famous 1916 letter from A Little Mother.  A sample:

      To the man who pathetically calls himself a “common soldier”, may I say that we women, who demand to be heard, will tolerate no such cry as “Peace! Peace!” where there is no peace.
      And so on.  This kind of crap made those who stayed home feel righteous and good in whooping it up.  The MPs, of course, sided with them for two more years.

      Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

      by Ice Blue on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 08:07:46 AM PST

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