Jesu li savezi prije Prvog svjetskog rata doista stvoreni kako bi se spriječio rat?

Jesu li savezi prije Prvog svjetskog rata doista stvoreni kako bi se spriječio rat?



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Scena u Blackadderu ide dalje, a kapetan Edmund Blackadder postavlja pozornicu za Prvi svjetski rat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGxAYeeyoIc

Edmunde: Mislite li "Kako je počeo rat?"
Baldrick: Da.
George: Rat je počeo zbog podloga Huna i njegove zlobne imperije.
Edmunde: George, Britansko Carstvo trenutno pokriva četvrtinu svijeta, dok se Njemačko Carstvo sastoji od male tvornice kobasica u Tanganjiki. Teško da mislim da možemo biti potpuno oslobođeni krivice na imperijalističkom frontu.
George: Oh, ne, gospodine, apsolutno ne. (na stranu, Baldicku) Lud kao bicikl!
Baldrick: Čuo sam da je to počelo kad je tip po imenu Archie Duke ustrijelio noja jer je bio gladan.
Edmunde: Mislim da mislite, počelo je to kad je nadvojvoda Austro-Ugarske ustrijeljen.
Baldrick: Ne, definitivno je u pitanju bio noj, gospodine.
Edmunde: Pa, moguće. No, pravi razlog cijele stvari bio je to što se radilo o prevelikom trudu ne imati rat.
George: By Gum ovo je zanimljivo; Uvijek sam volio povijest - Bitka kod Hastingsa, Henry VIII i njegovih šest noževa, sve to.
Edmunde: Vidite, Baldrick, kako bi se spriječio rat u Europi, razvila su se dva superbloka: mi, Francuzi i Rusi s jedne strane; te Nijemci i Austro-Ugarska s druge strane. Ideja je bila imati dvije ogromne suprotstavljene vojske, od kojih svaka djeluje kao sredstvo odvraćanja. Na taj način nikada ne bi moglo doći do rata.
Baldrick: Ali ovo je neka vrsta rata, zar ne, gospodine?
Edmunde: Da, tako je. Vidite, u planu je bila mala greška.
George: Što je to bilo, gospodine?
Edmunde: To je bilo sranje.

Ovo objašnjenje mi ne pristaje-s obzirom na to da Blackadder Forth nastaje krajem 1980-ih, prije pada Sovjetskog Saveza, dolazi do izražaja da su nam scenaristi emisije dali alegoriju o uzajamnom uništenju uništenja i osobne zabrinutosti da ćemo se na kraju suočiti s nuklearnim Armagedonom; Mislio sam da je ideja odvraćanja putem masovne odmazde nastala tek tijekom 1950 -ih - pa ako je to bio slučaj, onda to nikako nije mogla biti strategija početka 20. stoljeća.

Koliko se sjećam s sata povijesti, mislio sam da stanje Europe neposredno prije Prvog svjetskog rata nije bilo izmišljeno stanje stvari, već prirodna posljedica nacrta carstva razvijenih nacija i stalne vojne izgradnje za pripremu za eventualni rat, a ne kao sredstvo da se to spriječi.


Kratak odgovor: Da.

Bismarck je pažljivo održavao mrežu saveza osmišljenih da zadrže Francusku nakon Francusko-pruskog rata kako bi spriječio rat u kojem bi Francuska mogla pokušati vratiti kontrolu nad Alzasom-Lorenom.

Bismarck je vjerovao da će se Francuska uvijek protiviti ujedinjenju Njemačke jer će stvoriti moćnog susjeda na njezinoj sjevernoj granici, i naravno moćnog suparnika na kontinentu. Za detalje pogledajte dolje:

Francuska se snažno protivila aneksiji južnonjemačkih država (Bavarska, Wurttemberg, Baden i Hessen), koje bi stvorile premoćnu državu uz njenu granicu. U Pruskoj se rat protiv Francuske smatrao nužnim za pobuđivanje njemačkog nacionalizma u onim državama koje bi dopustile ujedinjenje velikog njemačkog carstva. Taj je cilj bio oličen citatom pruskog kancelara Otta von Bismarcka: "Znao sam da se prije formiranja ujedinjene Njemačke mora dogoditi francusko-pruski rat." [1] Bismarck je također znao da bi Francuska trebala biti agresor u sukobu kako bi dovela Južne njemačke države stat će na stranu Pruske, dajući time Nijemcima brojčanu superiornost. [2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_Franco-Prussian_War

To je značilo da je sprječavanje rata s Francuskom diplomatskim putem od vitalnog interesa za Nijemce.

Zanimljivo je da je Wilhelm II dolaskom na vlast pustio da se razotkriju niti ovog tapiserija saveza čiji je cilj zadržavanje Francuske, uglavnom zbog ponosa i nesposobnosti, tog drevnog neprijatelja monarha i autokrata kroz povijest. Liddell Hart (unatoč drugim manama kao povjesničar, vojni znanstvenik i ljudsko biće) zabilježio je ovaj slom u diplomatskoj topografiji Europe u svojoj Povijesti Prvog svjetskog rata.

Ovo je samo brzi odgovor jer nisam stigao ovo napisati ranije i nadam se da nisam propustio brod po ovom pitanju - uređivat ću detaljnije/općenito odgovoriti tijekom večeri.

Ovdje ima još nekih detalja u vezi sa "obuzdavanjem Francuske" - neki su ipak na francuskom. https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-15772192/bismarck-and-the-containment-of-france-1873-1877


Jesu li savezi prije Prvog svjetskog rata doista stvoreni kako bi se spriječio rat? - Povijest

Sustav savezništva bio je jedan od glavnih uzroka Prvog svjetskog rata. Saveznički sustav činile su dvije skupine, središnje sile (Njemačka, Austro-Ugarska, Italija (1914.) i Turska). Druga skupina bile su savezničke sile (Rusija, Francuska, Velika Britanija i Sjedinjene Države). Sustav saveza je kada zemlje udruže snage ili rade zajedno na postizanju određenog cilja. Razlog što imaju saveze je taj što im druga država ili zemlje mogu pomoći kad im je to potrebno. Većinu vremena savezi su se stvarali tajno. Kasnije su otkriveni u javnosti.

Ako se Njemačka nikada nije udružila s Austro-Ugarskom, tada je rat mogao biti spriječen. Nakon što je Njemačka objavila rat, tada su i sve ostale zemlje saveznice Njemačke objavile rat. Savez između Njemačke i Austro-Ugarske je tajno sklopljen 1879. Nazvan je Dvojni savez. Obećali su da će se međusobno podržavati ako Rusija ikada napadne. Više od 10 dodatnih nacija uključilo se u Prvi svjetski rat zbog savezničkog sustava.


Sadržaj

Svi preživjeli primarni izvori grčko-perzijskih ratova su grčki, nema suvremenih izvještaja na drugim jezicima. Daleko najvažniji izvor je grčki povjesničar iz petog stoljeća Herodot. Herodot, koji se naziva "ocem povijesti", [6] rođen je 484. godine prije Krista u Halicarnassusu, Mala Azija (tada dio Perzijskog carstva). Napisao je svoje 'upite' (grč Historia, Engleski (The) Povijesti) oko 440–430 godine prije Krista, pokušavajući pronaći podrijetlo grčko-perzijskih ratova, koji bi još uvijek bili novija povijest. [7] Herodotov pristup bio je nov i, barem u zapadnom društvu, izumio je 'povijest' kao disciplinu. [7] Kao što kaže povjesničar Tom Holland, "Po prvi put, kroničar se postavio na trag nastanku sukoba ne u prošlosti koja je bila tako daleka da bi bila potpuno bajna, niti u hirovima i željama nekog boga, niti na tvrdnju ljudi da očituje sudbinu, već na objašnjenja koja je mogao osobno provjeriti. " [7]

Neki kasniji antički povjesničari, počevši od Tukidida, kritizirali su Herodota i njegove metode. [8] [9] Ipak, Tukidid je odlučio započeti svoju povijest tamo gdje je Herodot stao (pri opsadi Sestosa) i smatrao je da je Herodotova povijest dovoljno točna da ne treba ponovno pisanje ili ispravljanje. [9] Plutarh je kritizirao Herodota u svom eseju "O Herodotovoj poniznosti", opisujući Herodota kao "Philobarbaros"(ljubitelj barbara) jer nije bio dovoljno progrčki nastrojen, što sugerira da je Herodot zapravo mogao obaviti razuman posao ravnomjernosti. [10] Negativan stav o Herodotu prenijet je na renesansnu Europu, iako je ostao dobro pročitajte. Međutim, od 19. stoljeća njegov ugled dramatično je obnovljen arheološkim nalazima koji su u više navrata potvrđivali njegovu verziju događaja. [11] Prevladava moderno stajalište da je Herodot učinio izvanredan posao u svom Historia, ali da neke njegove specifične pojedinosti (osobito broj i datume trupa) treba promatrati sa skepsom. [11] Ipak, još uvijek postoje neki povjesničari koji vjeruju da je Herodot sastavio veliki dio njegove priče. [12]

Vojna povijest Grčke između kraja druge perzijske invazije na Grčku i Peloponeskog rata (479. – 431. Pr. Kr.) Nije dobro podržana preživjelim izvorima. Ovo se razdoblje ponekad naziva i pentekontaetia (πεντηκονταετία, pedeset godina) od strane starih pisaca, bilo je razdoblje relativnog mira i prosperiteta unutar Grčke. [13] [14] Najbogatiji izvor za to razdoblje, ali i najsuvremeniji, je Tukididov Povijest Peloponeskog rata, koju moderni povjesničari općenito smatraju pouzdanim primarnim računom. [15] [16] [17] Tukidid samo spominje ovo razdoblje u digresiji o rastu atenske moći uoči Peloponeskog rata, a prikaz je kratak, vjerojatno selektivan i nema datume. [18] [19] Ipak, Tukididov izvještaj mogu, i koriste ga povjesničari, za izradu kronologije kostura za to razdoblje, na koje se mogu nadograditi detalji iz arheoloških zapisa i drugih pisaca. [18]

Više detalja o čitavom razdoblju pruža Plutarh u svojim životopisima Temistokla, Aristida i osobito Cimona. Plutarh je pisao nekih 600 godina nakon dotičnih događaja, pa je stoga sekundarni izvor, ali često navodi svoje izvore, što omogućuje određeni stupanj provjere njegovih izjava. [20] U svojim životopisima izravno se oslanja na mnoge drevne povijesti koje nisu preživjele, pa tako često čuva pojedinosti o razdoblju koje je izostavljeno u Herodotovim i Tukididovim izvještajima. Posljednji glavni postojeći izvor za to razdoblje je univerzalna povijest (Bibliotheca historica) iz 1. stoljeća prije Krista Sicilijanac, Diodorus Siculus. Većina Diodorusovog pisanja o ovom razdoblju potječe od mnogo ranijeg grčkog povjesničara Eforusa, koji je također napisao univerzalnu povijest. [21] Diodor je također sekundarni izvor i moderni povjesničari ga često ismijavaju zbog njegovog stila i netočnosti, ali on čuva mnoge detalje iz antičkog razdoblja koji se nigdje drugdje ne nalaze. [22]

Daljnji razbacani detalji mogu se naći u Pausanijinom Opis Grčke, dok bizantski sudanski rječnik iz 10. stoljeća poslije Krista čuva neke anegdote koje nema nigdje drugdje. Manji izvori za to razdoblje uključuju djela Pompeja Trogusa (koji je utjelovio Justinus), Kornelija Nepa i Ktezija Knidskog (utjelovljenje Fotija), koji nisu u izvornom tekstualnom obliku. Ti se radovi ne smatraju pouzdanima (osobito Ctesias), i nisu osobito korisni za rekonstrukciju povijesti ovog razdoblja. [23] [24]

Arheolozi su pronašli nekoliko fizičkih ostataka sukoba. Najpoznatiji je Zmijski stup u Istanbulu, koji je izvorno postavljen u Delfima u spomen na grčku pobjedu kod Plateje. Godine 1939. grčki arheolog Spyridon Marinatos pronašao je ostatke brojnih perzijskih vrhova strijela na brdu Kolonos na polju Termopila, koje se sada općenito identificira kao mjesto posljednjeg braniteljevog stajališta. [25]

Grci iz klasičnog razdoblja vjerovali su da je u mračnom dobu koje je slijedilo nakon raspada mikenske civilizacije značajan broj Grka pobjegao i emigrirao u Malu Aziju i tamo se nastanio. [26] [27] Suvremeni povjesničari općenito prihvaćaju ovu migraciju kao povijesnu (ali odvojenu od kasnije kolonizacije Mediterana od strane Grka). [28] [29] Postoje, međutim, oni koji vjeruju da se jonska migracija ne može objasniti tako jednostavno kako su klasični Grci tvrdili. [30] Ti su doseljenici bili iz tri plemenske skupine: Eolci, Dorci i Jonci. Jonjani su se naselili oko obala Lidije i Karije, osnovavši dvanaest gradova koji su činili Joniju. [26] Ti su gradovi bili Milet, Myus i Priene u Kariji Efeskoj, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Clazomenae, Phocaea i Erythrae u Lidiji te otoci Samos i Chios. [31] Iako su jonski gradovi bili neovisni jedni o drugima, prepoznali su zajedničko naslijeđe i navodno su imali zajednički hram i mjesto susreta, Panionion. [ii] Tako su formirali 'kulturnu ligu', u koju ne bi primili nijedan drugi grad, pa čak ni druge plemenite Jonjane. [32] [33]

Gradovi Jonije ostali su neovisni sve dok ih nisu osvojili Lidijci iz zapadne Male Azije. Lidijski kralj Alyattes napao je Milet, sukob koji je okončan savezničkim sporazumom između Mileta i Lidije, što je značilo da će Milet imati unutarnju autonomiju, ali će slijediti Lidiju u vanjskim poslovima. [34] U to su vrijeme Lidijci također bili u sukobu s Medijskim carstvom, a Milezijci su poslali vojsku da pomogne Lidijcima u ovom sukobu. Na kraju je uspostavljeno miroljubivo naselje između Medijaca i Lidijaca, s rijekom Halys postavljenom kao granicom između kraljevstava. [35] Slavni lidijski kralj Croesus naslijedio je svog oca Alyattesa oko 560. godine prije Krista i krenuo u osvajanje drugih grčkih gradskih država Male Azije. [36]

Perzijski princ Kir predvodio je pobunu protiv posljednjeg medijskog kralja Astyagesa 553. pr. Kir je bio unuk Astyagesa, a podržavao ga je dio medijske aristokracije. [37] Do 550. godine prije Krista, pobuna je završena, a Kir je izašao kao pobjednik, osnivajući Ahemenidsko carstvo umjesto Medijskog kraljevstva. [37] Krez je vidio poremećaj u Medijskom carstvu i Perziji kao priliku za proširenje svog carstva i upitao je proročište iz Delfa treba li ih napasti. Oracle je navodno odgovorio na čuveni dvosmislen odgovor da bi "ako bi Krez prešao Halys uništio veliko carstvo". [38] Slijep zbog dvosmislenosti ovog proročanstva, Krez je napao Perzijce, ali je na kraju poražen i Lidija je pala pod Kir. [39] Prešavši Halys, Krez je doista uništio veliko carstvo - njegovo vlastito.

Dok se borio s Lidijcima, Kir je slao poruke Joncima tražeći od njih da se pobune protiv lidijske vlasti, što su Jonjani odbili učiniti. Nakon što je Kir završio osvajanje Lidije, jonski su se gradovi sada ponudili da budu njegovi podanici pod istim uvjetima kao što su bili podređeni Krezu. [40] Cyrus je to odbio, navodeći kao razlog nespremnost Jonjana da mu prethodno pomognu. Jonjani su se tako pripremili za obranu, a Kir je poslao medijskog generala Harpaga da ih osvoji. [41] Prvo je napao Fokeju, Fokejci su odlučili potpuno napustiti svoj grad i otploviti u progonstvo na Siciliju, umjesto da postanu perzijski podanici (iako su se mnogi kasnije vratili). [42] Neki su Teiansi također odlučili emigrirati kada je Harpagus napao Teos, ali su ostali Jonci ostali i svaki je redom osvojen. [43]

U godinama nakon osvajanja Perzijancima je bilo teško vladati Joncima. Na drugim mjestima u carstvu, Cyrus je identificirao elitne domorodačke skupine poput svećeništva u Judeji - kako bi mu pomogao u upravljanju svojim novim podanicima. U to vrijeme u grčkim gradovima nije postojala takva skupina, dok je obično postojala aristokracija, koja je neizbježno bila podijeljena na zavađene frakcije. Perzijanci su se stoga odlučili sponzorirati tirana u svakom jonskom gradu, iako ih je to uvuklo u unutarnje sukobe Jonjana. Nadalje, neki tirani mogu razviti neovisan niz i moraju se zamijeniti. Sami tirani suočili su se s teškim zadatkom koji su morali odvratiti od najgore mržnje svojih sugrađana, ostajući pritom u korist Perzijanaca. [44] U prošlosti su grčkim državama često vladali tirani, ali je taj oblik vladavine bio u opadanju. Prošli tirani također su imali tendenciju i morali su biti jaki i sposobni vođe, dok su vladari koje su imenovali Perzijanci jednostavno bili mještani. Podržani perzijskom vojnom snagom, tim tiranima nije bila potrebna podrška stanovništva, pa su stoga mogli apsolutno vladati. [45] Uoči grčko-perzijskih ratova, vjerojatno je da je jonsko stanovništvo postalo nezadovoljno i da je bilo spremno za pobunu. [46]

Ratovanje u starom Mediteranu

U grčko-perzijskim ratovima obje su se strane koristile pješaštvom i lakim raketnim postrojbama naoružanim kopljem. Grčke vojske stavile su naglasak na teže pješaštvo, dok su perzijske vojske favorizirale lakše tipove trupa. [47] [48]

Perzija

Perzijska vojska sastojala se od raznolike skupine ljudi privučenih iz različitih nacija carstva. [49] Međutim, prema Herodotu, postojala je barem opća sukladnost u oklopu i stilu borbe. [47] Vojnici su obično bili naoružani lukom, 'kratkim kopljem' i mačem ili sjekirom, a nosili su štit od pruća. Nosili su kožni prsluk, [47] [50] iako su pojedinci visokog statusa nosili visokokvalitetni metalni oklop. Perzijanci su najvjerojatnije upotrijebili svoje lukove da istroše neprijatelja, a zatim su se zatvorili da zadaju posljednji udarac kopljima i mačevima. [47] Prvi čin perzijskih pješačkih formacija, takozvana 'sparabara', nije imao lukove, nosio je veće pletene štitove i ponekad je bio naoružan dužim kopljima. Njihova je uloga bila zaštititi zadnje redove formacije. [51] Konjica se vjerojatno borila kao lako naoružana raketna konjica. [47] [52]

Grčka

Stil ratovanja između grčkih gradova-država, koji datira još od najmanje 650. godine prije Krista (prema datumu 'Chigi vaze'), temeljio se oko hoplitske falange koju su podržavale raketne postrojbe. [48] ​​[53] 'Hopliti' su bili pješaci koji su obično dolazili iz pripadnika srednje klase (u Ateni tzv. zeugites), koji su si mogli priuštiti opremu potrebnu za borbu na ovaj način. [49] [54] Teški oklop obično je uključivao naprsnik ili linotoraks, čvarke, kacigu i veliki okrugli, udubljeni štit ( aspis ili hoplon). [48] ​​Hopliti su bili naoružani dugim kopljima ( dory), koje su bile znatno duže od perzijskih koplja i mača ( xiphos). Teški oklop i duža koplja učinili su ih superiornima u borbi prsa u prsa i dali im značajnu zaštitu od dalekometnih napada. [48] ​​Lako naoružani okršaji, psiloi su također činili dio grčkih vojski koje su postajale sve važnije tijekom sukoba u bitki za Plateju, na primjer, možda su oformile više od polovice grčke vojske. [55] Upotreba konjice u grčkim vojskama nije zabilježena u bitkama za grčko-perzijske ratove.

Ratna mornarica

Na početku sukoba sve pomorske snage u istočnom Mediteranu prešle su na trireme, ratni brod koji pokreću tri obale vesla. Najčešće pomorske taktike u tom razdoblju bile su nabijanje (grčke trireme bile su opremljene ovnom od lijevane bronce na pramcima) ili ukrcavanje brodskih marinaca. [49] Iskusnije pomorske sile do tada su također počele koristiti manevar poznat kao smrtonosan. Nije jasno što je to bilo, ali vjerojatno je uključivalo uplovljavanje u praznine između neprijateljskih brodova i njihovo nabijanje u stranu. [56]

Perzijske pomorske snage prvenstveno su osiguravali pomorci carstva: Feničani, Egipćani, Kilikijci i Ciprani. [57] [58] Ostale obalne regije Perzijskog Carstva doprinijele bi brodovima tijekom ratova. [57]


Savezi

Mreža saveza razvila se u Europi između 1870. i 1914., čime su učinkovito stvorena dva tabora vezana obvezama očuvanja suvereniteta ili vojne intervencije - Trojna Antanta i Trojna alijansa.

  • Trojni savez iz 1882. povezivao je Njemačku, Austro-Ugarsku i Italiju.
  • Trojna Antanta 1907. povezivala je Francusku, Britaniju i Rusiju.

Povijesna točka sukoba između Austrije Mađarske i Rusije bila je zbog njihovih nespojivih balkanskih interesa, a Francuska je duboko sumnjala u Njemačku ukorijenjenu u njihovom porazu u ratu 1870. godine.

Britanski evropski crtani film 1914.

Sustav saveza prvenstveno je nastao jer je nakon 1870. Njemačka pod Bismarckom napravila presedan izigravajući imperijalna nastojanja svojih susjeda, kako bi održala ravnotežu snaga u Europi


Caiser i Car

Rasputin je imao veliki utjecaj nad ruskom caricom, Alexandra © Do 1914. kraljevi više nisu vodili svoju vojsku u bitku. Bilo je isto tako dobro. Nije bilo zajamčeno da će kraljevi biti dobri vojnici ili vojni stratezi nego što su trebali biti dobri vladari. U teoriji, vladari su ostali pod vrhovnom komandom, ali je stvarno vođenje ovog rata povjereno generalima. Svi su europski vladari ili čvrsto ostali u svojim palačama, povremeno posjećujući svoje trupe, ili su se pak nastanili u nekoj seoskoj kući iza prvih crta bojišnice. U svakom slučaju, većina njih je imala vrlo malo riječi o vođenju rata.

Kaiser Wilhelm II uskoro se otkrio samo kao bombastični sabljar.

Od svih suverena uključenih u Prvi svjetski rat - careva Njemačke, Rusije, Austrougarske, kraljeva Velike Britanije, Italije, Belgije, Srbije, Bugarske, Rumunjske, Grčke i, ukratko, Crne Gore - najočitiji su se pokazali da budu najmanje ratoborni kad ih je pogodila ratna stvarnost. Kaiser Wilhelm II uskoro se otkrio samo kao bombastični sabljar, kojem nedostaju sve kvalitete vodstva. Na kraju, zanemareno od strane Vrhovnog zapovjedništva, dane će provoditi 'pijući čaj, šetajući i piljeći drva'. Do kraja rata, s obzirom na to da su se njegove vojske suočile s vojnim porazom, obuzele su ga snage republikanizma i revolucije koje je uvijek manje-više ignorirao te je bio prisiljen abdicirati.

U travnju 1915. podjednako neodlučan car Nikola II poduzeo je kobni korak preuzimajući osobno zapovjedništvo nad vojskom. Ništa manje pogrešna nije bila ni njegova odluka da prijestolnicu prepusti rukama svoje supruge snažnije volje, carice Aleksandre, koja je bila potpuno pod utjecajem tajanstvenog starci (duhovni savjetnik) Rasputin. U ožujku 1917. izbili su neredi u Sankt Peterburgu, a tjedan dana kasnije Nikola II je čuo da je žurno sastavljena privremena vlada odlučila da mora abdicirati. Bez potpore političara ili generala, car se morao pokoriti. Tijekom tjedan dana srušila se ranije očito neprikosnovena dinastija Romanovih.


Jesu li savezi prije Prvog svjetskog rata doista stvoreni kako bi se spriječio rat? - Povijest

Pandemija gripe 1918

Pandemija gripe 1918-1919 ubila je više ljudi nego Veliki rat, danas poznat kao Prvi svjetski rat (negdje između 20 i 40 milijuna ljudi). Navedena je kao najrazornija epidemija u zabilježenoj svjetskoj povijesti. Više je ljudi umrlo od gripe u jednoj godini nego u četiri godine bubonske kuge crne smrti od 1347. do 1351. Poznata kao "španjolska gripa" ili "La Grippe", gripa 1918-1919 bila je globalna katastrofa.


The Grim Reaper od Louisa Raemaekersa

U jesen 1918. Veliki rat u Europi se gasio, a mir je bio na pomolu. U borbu su se uključili i Amerikanci, približavajući saveznike pobjedi protiv Nijemaca. Duboko u rovovima ti su ljudi proživjeli neke od najbrutalnijih uvjeta života, za koje se činilo da ne mogu biti gori. Zatim je u džepovima širom svijeta izbilo nešto što se činilo benignim poput obične prehlade. Gripa te sezone bila je, međutim, daleko više od prehlade. U dvije godine koliko je ova pošast harala zemljom, petina svjetske populacije bila je zaražena. Gripa je bila najsmrtonosnija za ljude u dobi od 20 do 40 godina. Ovaj obrazac morbiditeta bio je neobičan za gripu koja je obično ubojica starijih osoba i male djece. Zarazila je 28% svih Amerikanaca (Tice). Procjenjuje se da je tijekom pandemije od gripe umrlo 675.000 Amerikanaca, deset puta više nego u svjetskom ratu. Od američkih vojnika koji su poginuli u Europi, polovica ih je pala na virus gripe, a ne na neprijatelja (Deseret News). Procjenjuje se da je 43.000 vojnika mobilisanih za Prvi svjetski rat umrlo od gripe (Crosby). 1918. će se dogoditi kao nezaboravna godina patnje i smrti, a opet mira. Kao što je navedeno u časopisu Journal of the American Medical Association konačno izdanje 1918 .:

"1918. je prošla: godina značajna kao prekid najsurovijeg rata u ljetopisima ljudskog roda, godina koja je obilježila, barem na neko vrijeme, kraj uništenja čovjeka, nažalost godinu u kojoj se razvila smrtonosna zarazna bolest koja uzrokuje smrt stotina tisuća ljudskih bića. Medicinska znanost četiri i pol godine posvetila se stavljanju ljudi na liniju vatre i njihovom zadržavanju. Sada se mora svom snagom okrenuti borbi protiv najvećeg neprijatelja od svega-zarazne bolesti, " (12/28/1918).

Hitna bolnica za oboljele od gripe

Učinak epidemije gripe bio je toliko ozbiljan da je prosječni životni vijek u SAD -u smanjen za 10 godina. Virus gripe imao je duboku virulenciju, sa stopom smrtnosti od 2,5% u odnosu na prethodne epidemije gripe, koje su bile manje od 0,1%. Stopa smrtnosti od 15 do 34-godišnjaka od gripe i upale pluća bila je 20 puta veća 1918. nego prethodnih godina (Taubenberger). Ljudi su na ulici bili pogođeni bolešću i brzo su umrli. Jedna anektoda iz 1918. bila je četiri žene koje su zajedno igrale bridž do kasno u noć. Preko noći su tri žene umrle od gripe (Hoagg). Drugi su pričali priče o ljudima koji su na putu do posla iznenada razvili gripu i umrli u roku od nekoliko sati (Henig). Jedan liječnik piše da bi pacijenti s naizgled običnom gripom brzo "razvili najviskozniju vrstu upale pluća koja je ikada viđena", a kasnije, kada se u pacijenata pojavila cijanoza, "to je jednostavno borba za zrak dok se ne uguše" (Grist, 1979.). Drugi liječnik podsjeća da su bolesnici od gripe "umrli boreći se da očiste dišne ​​putove od pjene krvave koja im je ponekad izbijala iz nosa i usta" (Starr, 1976.). Tadašnji liječnici bili su bespomoćni protiv ovog moćnog uzročnika gripe. 1918. djeca će preskakati konopac do rime (Crawford):

Imala sam malu pticu, zvala se Enza. Otvorio sam prozor, I in-flu-enza.

Pandemija gripe obišla je cijeli svijet. Većina čovječanstva osjetila je posljedice ovog soja virusa influence. Proširila se slijedeći put svojih ljudskih prijevoznika, trgovačkim putovima i brodskim linijama. Epidemije su zahvatile Sjevernu Ameriku, Europu, Aziju, Afriku, Brazil i južni Pacifik (Taubenberger). U Indiji je stopa smrtnosti bila iznimno visoka, oko 50 smrtnih slučajeva od gripe na 1.000 ljudi (Brown). Veliki rat, s masovnim kretanjem ljudi u vojskama i na brodovima, vjerojatno je pomogao u njegovom brzom širenju i napadu. Podrijetlo smrtonosne bolesti gripe nije bilo poznato, ali se o tome naširoko nagađalo. Neki su saveznici smatrali da je epidemija biološko oruđe Nijemaca. Mnogi su mislili da je to posljedica rovovskog ratovanja, korištenja iperita i nastalog "dima i isparenja" iz rata. Nacionalna kampanja počela je koristiti gotovu ratnu retoriku za borbu protiv novog neprijatelja mikroskopskih razmjera. Studija je pokušala zaključiti zašto je bolest bila tako razorna u određenim lokaliziranim regijama, gledajući klimu, vrijeme i rasni sastav gradova. Utvrdili su da je vlaga povezana s ozbiljnijim epidemijama jer "potiče širenje bakterija" (Odbor za atmosferu i čovjeka, 1923). U međuvremenu su se nove znanosti o zaraznim uzročnicima i imunologija utrkivale u izradi cjepiva ili terapije za zaustavljanje epidemija.

Iskustva ljudi u vojnim kampovima s pandemijom gripe:

Odlomak za memoare preživjelog u kampu Funston pandemije Survivor

Pismo kolegi liječniku u kojem se opisuju stanja tijekom epidemije gripe u kampu Devens

Zbirka pisama vojnika stacioniranog u kampu Funston Soldier

Podrijetlo ove varijante gripe nije točno poznato. Smatra se da je nastao u Kini u rijetkom genetskom pomaku virusa influence. Rekombinacija njegovih površinskih proteina stvorila je virusni virus gotovo svima i izgubila imunitet stada. Nedavno je virus rekonstruiran iz tkiva mrtvog vojnika i sada se genetski karakterizira. Ime španjolske gripe potječe od ranih nevolja i velikih smrtnosti u Španjolskoj (BMJ, 10/19/1918) gdje je navodno u svibnju ubilo 8 milijuna (BMJ, 13.7.1918). Međutim, prvi val gripe pojavio se rano u proljeće 1918. u Kansasu i u vojnim kampovima diljem SAD -a. Rijetki su primijetili epidemiju usred rata. Wilson je upravo dao svoju adresu od 14 točaka. Gotovo da nije bilo odgovora ili priznanja na epidemije u ožujku i travnju u vojnim kampovima. Nažalost, nisu poduzeti nikakvi koraci za pripremu za uobičajenu ponovnu pojavu virulentne vrste gripe zimi. Nedostatak radnji kasnije je kritiziran kada se epidemija nije mogla zanemariti u zimu 1918. (BMJ, 1918.). Ove prve epidemije u kampovima za obuku bile su znak onoga što će u jesen i zimu 1918. doći u većim razmjerima po cijeli svijet.

Rat je vratio virus u SAD za drugi val epidemije. Prvi je put stigao u Boston u rujnu 1918. godine kroz luku zauzet ratnim pošiljkama strojeva i potrepština. Rat je također omogućio širenje i širenje virusa. Muškarci diljem zemlje mobilizirali su se kako bi se pridružili vojsci i poslu. Kad su se okupili, donijeli su virus sa sobom i onima koje su kontaktirali. Virus je ubio gotovo 200,00 samo u listopadu 1918. godine. 11. studenoga 1918. kraj rata omogućio je ponovni oživljavanje. Dok su ljudi obilježavali Dan primirja paradama i velikim zabavama, što je potpuna katastrofa sa stajališta javnog zdravlja, u nekim se gradovima ponovno dogodilo epidemija. Gripa te zime bila je nezamisliva jer su milijuni zaraženi, a tisuće umrli. Baš kao što je rat utjecao na tok gripe, tako je gripa utjecala na rat. Cijele flote bile su bolesne od te bolesti, a ljudi na frontu bili su previše bolesni za borbu. Gripa je bila razorna za obje strane, ubivši više ljudi nego što je to moglo njihovo vlastito oružje.

S obzirom da su se vojni pacijenti iz rata vraćali kući s ranama i opekotinama od iperita, bolničke ustanove i osoblje bili su oporezovani do krajnjih granica. To je stvorilo nedostatak liječnika, osobito u civilnom sektoru jer su mnogi izgubljeni zbog službe u vojsci. Budući da su liječnici bili odsutni s trupama, samo su studenti medicine ostali brinuti se o bolesnima. Nastava treće i četvrte godine bila je zatvorena, a učenici su dobili zadatke kao pripravnici ili medicinske sestre (Starr, 1976.). Jedan je članak napomenuo da je "iscrpljivanje dovedeno do te mjere da su praktikanti dovedeni vrlo blizu točke prijeloma" (BMJ, 11/2/1918). Nedostatak je dodatno zbunjen dodatnim gubitkom liječnika zbog epidemije. U SAD -u je Crveni križ morao zaposliti više volontera koji će pridonijeti novom cilju u borbi protiv epidemije gripe. Kako bi u što većoj mjeri odgovorio medicinskim sestrama, volonterima i medicinskim potrepštinama, Crveni križ je osnovao Nacionalni odbor za gripu. Bio je uključen u vojni i civilni sektor kako bi mobilizirao sve snage za borbu protiv španjolske gripe (Crosby, 1989.). U nekim područjima SAD -a nedostatak medicinskih sestara bio je toliko velik da je Crveni križ morao zatražiti od lokalnih tvrtki da dozvole radnicima slobodan dan ako volontiraju u bolnicama noću (Deseret News). Bolnice za hitne slučajeve stvorene su za prihvat pacijenata iz SAD -a i onih koji dolaze bolesni iz inozemstva.

Pandemija je zahvatila sve. With one-quarter of the US and one-fifth of the world infected with the influenza, it was impossible to escape from the illness. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles to end the World War (Tice). Those who were lucky enough to avoid infection had to deal with the public health ordinances to restrain the spread of the disease. The public health departments distributed gauze masks to be worn in public. Stores could not hold sales, funerals were limited to 15 minutes. Some towns required a signed certificate to enter and railroads would not accept passengers without them. Those who ignored the flu ordinances had to pay steep fines enforced by extra officers (Deseret News). Bodies pilled up as the massive deaths of the epidemic ensued. Besides the lack of health care workers and medical supplies, there was a shortage of coffins, morticians and gravediggers (Knox). The conditions in 1918 were not so far removed from the Black Death in the era of the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages.

In 1918-19 this deadly influenza pandemic erupted during the final stages of World War I. Nations were already attempting to deal with the effects and costs of the war. Propaganda campaigns and war restrictions and rations had been implemented by governments. Nationalism pervaded as people accepted government authority. This allowed the public health departments to easily step in and implement their restrictive measures. The war also gave science greater importance as governments relied on scientists, now armed with the new germ theory and the development of antiseptic surgery, to design vaccines and reduce mortalities of disease and battle wounds. Their new technologies could preserve the men on the front and ultimately save the world. These conditions created by World War I, together with the current social attitudes and ideas, led to the relatively calm response of the public and application of scientific ideas. People allowed for strict measures and loss of freedom during the war as they submitted to the needs of the nation ahead of their personal needs. They had accepted the limitations placed with rationing and drafting. The responses of the public health officials reflected the new allegiance to science and the wartime society. The medical and scientific communities had developed new theories and applied them to prevention, diagnostics and treatment of the influenza patients.


The fight to whitewash US history: ‘A drop of poison is all you need’

O n 25 May 2020, a man died after a “medical incident during police interaction” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The man was suspected of forgery and “believed to be in his 40s”. He “physically resisted officers” and, after being handcuffed, “appeared to be suffering medical distress”. He was taken to the hospital “where he died a short time later”.

It is not difficult to imagine a version of reality where this, the first police account of George Floyd’s brutal death beneath the knee of an implacable police officer, remained the official narrative of what took place in Minneapolis one year ago. That version of reality unfolds every day. Police lies are accepted and endorsed by the press press accounts are accepted and believed by the public.

That something else happened – that it is now possible for a news organization to say without caveat or qualification that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd – required herculean effort and extraordinary bravery on the part of millions of people.

The laborious project of establishing truth in the face of official lies is one that Americans embraced during the racial reckoning of the summer of 2020, whether it was individuals speaking out about their experiences of racism at work, or institutions acknowledging their own complicity in racial injustice. For a time, it seemed that America was finally ready to tell a more honest, nuanced story of itself, one that acknowledged the blood at the root.

Protesters march after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

But alongside this reassessment, another American tradition re-emerged: a reactionary movement bent on reasserting a whitewashed American myth. These reactionary forces have taken aim at efforts to tell an honest version of American history and speak openly about racism by proposing laws in statehouses across the country that would ban the teaching of “critical race theory”, the New York Times’s 1619 Project, and, euphemistically, “divisive concepts”.

The movement is characterized by a childish insistence that children should be taught a false version of the founding of the United States that better resembles a mythic virgin birth than the bloody, painful reality. It would shred the constitution’s first amendment in order to defend the honor of those who drafted its three-fifths clause.

“When you start re-examining the founding myth in light of evidence that’s been discovered in the last 20 years by historians, then that starts to make people doubt the founding myth,” said Christopher S Parker, a professor of political science at the University of Washington who studies reactionary movements. “There’s no room for racism in this myth. Anything that threatens to interrogate the myth is seen as a threat.”

Legislation seeking to limit how teachers talk about race has been considered by at least 15 states, according to an analysis by Education Week.

In Idaho, Governor Brad Little signed into law a measure banning public schools from teaching critical race theory, which it claimed will “exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the wellbeing of the state of Idaho and its citizens”. The state’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, also established a taskforce to “examine indoctrination in Idaho education and to protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism, and Marxism”.

In Tennessee, the legislature has approved a bill that would bar public schools from using instructional materials that promote certain concepts, including the idea that, “This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.”

The Texas house of representatives has passed a flurry of legislation related to teaching history, including a bill that would ban any course that would “require an understanding of the 1619 Project” and a bill that would establish an “1836 Project” (a reference to the date of the founding of the Republic of Texas) to “promote patriotic education”.

Representative Ted Budd speaks about banning federal funding for the teaching of critical race theory. Photograph: Michael Brochstein/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, in April came out in opposition to a small federal grant program (just $5.25m out of the department of education’s $73.5bn budget) supporting American history and civics education projects that, among other criteria, “incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives”.

“Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense,” McConnell wrote in a letter to the secretary of education, Miguel Cardona. “Voters did not vote for it. Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil.”

Unsurprisingly, McConnell left out a few pertinent adjectives.

“Whose children are we talking about?” asked LaGarrett King, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Education who has developed a new framework for teaching Black history. “Black parents talk to their kids about racism. Asian American parents talk to their kids about racism. Just say that you don’t want white kids to learn about racism.”

“If we understand the systemic nature of racism, then that will help us really understand our society, and hopefully improve it,” King added. “Laws like this – it’s simply that people do not want to improve society. History is about power, and these people want to continue in a system that they have enjoyed.”

While diversity training and the 1619 Project have been major targets, critical race theory has more recently become the watchword of the moral panic. Developed by Black legal scholars at Harvard in the 1980s, critical race theory is a mode of thinking that examines the ways in which racism was embedded into American law.

“Its effectiveness created a backlash,” said Keffrelyn D Brown, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education who argues that critical race theory does have a place in classrooms. Brown said that she believes students should learn about racism in school, but that teachers need tools and frameworks to make those discussions productive.

“If we are teaching this, we need to think about racism as just as robust a content area as if we were talking about discrete mathematics or the life cycle,” Brown said. “I find that critical race theory provides a really elegant and clear way for students to understand racism from an informed perspective.”

Multiple states are trying to ban schools from teaching the 1619 Project. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/The Guardian

But in the hands of the American right, critical race theory has morphed into an existential threat. In early January, just five days after rightwing rioters had stormed the US Capitol, the Heritage Foundation, a rightwing thinktank with close ties to the Trump administration, hosted a panel discussion about the threat of “the new intolerance” and its “grip on America”.

“Critical race theory is the complete rejection of the best ideas of the American founding. This is some dangerous, dangerous philosophical poisoning in the blood stream,” said Angela Sailor, a VP of the Heritage Foundation’s Feulner Institute and the moderator of the event.

“The rigid persistence with which believers apply this theory has made critical race theory a constant daily presence in the lives of hundreds of millions of people,” she added, in an assessment that will probably come as a surprise to hundreds of millions of people.

The Heritage Foundation has been one of the top campaigners against critical race theory, alongside the Manhattan Institute, another conservative thinktank known for promoting the “broken windows” theory of policing.

Bridging the two groups is Christopher Rufo, a documentary film-maker who has become the leading spokesperson against critical race theory on television and on Twitter. As a visiting fellow at Heritage, he produced a report arguing that critical race theory makes inequality worse, and in April the Manhattan Institute appointed him the director of a new “Initiative on Critical Race Theory”. (Rufo is also affiliated with another rightwing thinktank, the Discovery Institute, which is best known for its repeated attempts to smuggle Christian theology into US public schools under the guise of the pseudoscientific “intelligent design”.)

A host of new organizations has also sprung up to spread the fear of critical race theory far and wide. The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (Fair) launched recently with an advisory board composed of anti-“woke” media figures and academics. The group is so far encouraging opposition to the grant program McConnell opposed and has highlighted a legal challenge to a debt relief program for Black farmers as a “profile in courage”.

Those who take the Fair “pledge” can also join a message board where members discuss their activism against critical race theory in schools and access resources such as the guide, How to Talk to a Critical Theorist, which begins, “In many ways, Critical Theorists (or specifically Critical Race Theorists) are just like anyone.”

Parents Defending Education, another new organization, encourages parents to “expose” what’s happening in their schools and offers step-by-step instructions for parents to set up “Woke at X” Instagram accounts to document excessive “wokeness” at their children’s schools.

A new website, What Are They Learning, was set up by the Daily Caller reporter Luke Rosiak to serve as a “woke-e-leaks” for parents to report incidents of teachers mentioning racism in school. “In deep-red, 78% white Indiana, state department of education tells teachers to Talk about Race in the Classroom, cites Ibram X Kendi,” reads one such report. (The actual document submitted is, in fact, titled Talking about Race in the Classroom and appears to be a copy of a webinar offering teachers advice on discussing last year’s Black Lives Matter protests with their students.)

Such initiatives and others – the Educational Liberty Alliance, Critical Race Training in Education, No Left Turn in Education – have received enthusiastic support from the rightwing media, with the New York Post, Daily Caller, Federalist and Fox News serving up a steady stream of outrage fodder about the threat of critical race theory. Since 5 June, Fox News has mentioned “critical race theory” by name in 150 broadcasts, the Atlantic found.

For some of these groups, critical race theory is just one of many “liberal” ideas they don’t want their children to learn. No Left Turn in Education also complains about comprehensive sex education and includes a link on its website to an article suggesting that teaching children about the climate crisis is a form of indoctrination.

For others, it seems possible that attacking critical race theory is just a smokescreen for a bog standard conservative agenda. (Toward the end of the Heritage Foundation’s January panel, the group’s director of its center for education policy told viewers that the “most important” way to fight critical race theory was to support “school choice”, a longstanding policy goal of the right.)

Whatever their motives, today’s reactionaries are picking up the mantle of generations of Americans who have fought to ensure that white children are taught a version of America’s past that is more hagiographic than historic. The echoes are so strong that Adam Laats, a Binghamton University professor who studies the history of education in the US, remarked, “It’s confusing which decade we’re in.”

In the 1920s and 1930s, reactionaries objected to textbooks that gave credence to the progressive historian Charles Beard’s argument that the founders’ motives were not strictly principled, but instead were influenced by economic self-interest, according to Seth Cotlar, a history professor at Willamette University.

In 1923, an Oregon state government controlled by members of the resurgent Ku Klux Klan enacted a law that banned the use of any textbook in schools that “speaks slightingly of the founders of the republic, or of the men who preserved the union, or which belittles or undervalues their work”. And in the 1930s, conservatives waged what Laats called a “frenzied campaign” against the textbooks of Harold Rugg, another progressive historian, that actually resulted in a book burning in Bradner, Ohio.

For those supporting the resurgent Klan, “To speak ill of a founder was akin to a kind of sacrilege,” said Cotlar.

Another battle over textbooks flared in the 1990s when Lynne Cheney launched a high-profile campaign against an effort to introduce new standards for teaching US history, which she found insufficiently “celebratory” and lacking “a tone of affirmation”. Harriet Tubman, the KKK, and McCarthyism all received too much attention, Cheney complained, and George Washington and Robert E Lee not enough.

The decades change the fixation on maintaining a false idea of historic figures as pure founts of virtue remains. Today, the single contention in the 1619 Project that has drawn the most vociferous outrage is author Nikole Hannah-Jones’s assertion that “one of the primary reasons” colonists fought for independence was to preserve the institution of slavery. Hannah-Jones was denied tenure by the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees, which overruled the dean, faculty and university, reportedly due to political pressure from conservative critics of the 1619 Project.

“Underlying this is the never-solved dilemma about what history class is supposed to do,” said Laats. “For some people it’s supposed to be a pep talk before the game, a well of pure inspiration for young people, and I think that is why the danger seems so intense to conservatives.

“It’s not enough to be balanced it’s not adequate to say that we balance out criticism of the past with praise of the past. The idea is that a drop of poison is all you need to ruin the well.”

Black Lives Matter protesters march in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Still, the fact that reactionaries are looking to legislate against certain ideas may be a sign of just how weak their own position is.

Laats suspects that the right is using “critical race theory” as a euphemism. “You can’t go to a school board and say you want to ban the idea that Black Lives Matter.

“They’ve given up on arguing in favor of indoctrination and instead say that critical race theory is the actual indoctrination,” he said of the conservative movement. “They’ve given up on arguing in favor of racism to say that critical race theory is the real racism. This campaign against the teaching of critical race theory is scary, and it’s a sign of great strength, but it’s strength in favor of an idea that’s already lost.”

Last week I called Paweł Machcewicz, a Polish historian who has been at the center of a battle in his own country between those who want to tell the truth about the past, and those who want to weaponize history for political purposes. Machcewicz was one of the historians who uncovered evidence of Polish complicity in Nazi war crimes, and as the founding director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, he attempted to provide an accurate account of Poland’s experience in the war. The far-right ruling party, Law and Justice, deemed the museum insufficiently patriotic and fired him. The next year, the government passed legislation to outlaw accusing Poland of complicity in Nazi war crimes.

“Democracy turned out to be very fragile,” Machcewicz said. “I knew history was important for Law and Justice, but it became a sort of obsession. I never thought that as a founding director of a museum of the second world war, I would become a public enemy.”

“You never know what price you have to pay for independent history,” he added. “I don’t think it will ever go as far in the US as Poland, but some years ago, I also felt quite secure in my country.”


The Model T Ford Goes To War

Henry Ford was a staunch pacifist and was not at all inclined to see his Model T used during the First World War, despite its then being known as “The War To End All Wars”. Henry Ford would not involve himself or his company in building specialized versions of the Model T for military use, but he was willing to sell Model T rolling chassis and spare parts to the military and ambulance services of nations involved in the conflict for them to convert however they wished.

Perhaps the best known conversion for service in WW1 was as an ambulance. Some of these ambulances were driven by people who would become famous in the United States after the war including Walt Disney and Ernest Hemmingway. A Model T ambulance could go places many other vehicles could not and if it did get stuck a group of soldiers would normally be able to lift and bounce it enough to get it unstuck. A typical Model T tipped the scales at around 1,300 lbs so it was not a heavy vehicle.

There were quite a number of innovative conversions of the Model T made for military service. All of them are interesting and the Polish use of a Model T to create an early armored car is one. The Poles designated their armored car the Ford FT-B. This Model T conversion was created in two weeks and served the Polish Army well in their battles with the Russian Bolsheviks.

Before the war the Model T had been available with many after-market conversions, including a half-track conversion. For use in the Great War there was even a full-track version created and trialed.

At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 Model T Fords were a part of the action. These Model T’s were purchased by allied and associated organizations from Ford dealerships in Britain and France with the first American Field Service ambulances appearing at the front working to transport French wounded in 1915.

The French Army fielded about 11,000 Model T’s for the war effort. British and Empire Forces fielded somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000 and the Tin Lizzy’s were used in Europe, Africa and the Middle East campaigns.

Although the Great War had begun in 1914 it was not until 1917 that the United States entered the war. Henry Ford had been a prominent supporter of the “Keep America Out of the War” movement but once the United States was committed to entering the fight he realized he would need to supply what his nation demanded. 390,000 Model T’s were made and sold to the US Army, of which 15,000 saw service with the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) in the war in Europe, and without doubt they served to help secure its speedy end.

Generally speaking the Ford Model T served remarkably well during the Great War and was generally much appreciated by those who manned them, and those who were rescued by them. One would be soldier-poet penned this tongue-in-cheek piece based on Psalm 23:

The Ford is my car
I shall not want another.
It maketh me to lie down in wet places
It soileth my soul
It leadeth me into deep waters
It leadeth me into paths of ridicule for its namesake
It prepareth a breakdown for me in the presence of mine enemies.
Yea, though I run through the valleys, I am towed up the hill
I fear great evil when it is with me.
Its rods and its engines discomfort me
It annointeth my face with oil
Its tank runneth over.
Surely to goodness if this thing follow me all the days of my life,
I shall dwell in the house of the insane forever.


The Yalta Conference, 1945

The Yalta Conference took place in a Russian resort town in the Crimea from February 4–11, 1945, during World War Two. At Yalta, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt , British Prime Minister Winston Churchill , and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin made important decisions regarding the future progress of the war and the postwar world.

The Allied leaders came to Yalta knowing that an Allied victory in Europe was practically inevitable but less convinced that the Pacific war was nearing an end. Recognizing that a victory over Japan might require a protracted fight, the United States and Great Britain saw a major strategic advantage to Soviet participation in the Pacific theater. At Yalta, Roosevelt and Churchill discussed with Stalin the conditions under which the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan and all three agreed that, in exchange for potentially crucial Soviet participation in the Pacific theater, the Soviets would be granted a sphere of influence in Manchuria following Japan’s surrender. This included the southern portion of Sakhalin, a lease at Port Arthur (now Lüshunkou), a share in the operation of the Manchurian railroads, and the Kurile Islands. This agreement was the major concrete accomplishment of the Yalta Conference.

The Allied leaders also discussed the future of Germany, Eastern Europe and the United Nations. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed not only to include France in the postwar governing of Germany, but also that Germany should assume some, but not all, responsibility for reparations following the war. The Americans and the British generally agreed that future governments of the Eastern European nations bordering the Soviet Union should be “friendly” to the Soviet regime while the Soviets pledged to allow free elections in all territories liberated from Nazi Germany. Negotiators also released a declaration on Poland, providing for the inclusion of Communists in the postwar national government. In discussions regarding the future of the United Nations, all parties agreed to an American plan concerning voting procedures in the Security Council, which had been expanded to five permanent members following the inclusion of France. Each of these permanent members was to hold a veto on decisions before the Security Council.


The French and Indian War (1754-1763): Causes and Outbreak

The French and Indian War is one of the most significant, yet widely forgotten, events in American history. It was a conflict that pitted two of history’s greatest empires, Great Britain and France, against each other for control of the North American continent. Swept up in the struggle were the inhabitants of New France, the British colonists, the Native Americans, and regular troops from France and Britain. While the major fighting occurred in New York, Pennsylvania, Canada, and Nova Scotia, the conflict had far greater implications overseas and ignited the Seven Years’ War worldwide.

Since the late 17 th century, hostilities between France and Great Britain in North America had been continuous. Three major conflicts—King William’s War (1689-1697), Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713), and King George’s War (1744-1748)—had all begun in Europe and made their way to the colonies. The French and Indian War is unique, because the fighting began in North America and spread to the rest of the world. In western Pennsylvania, the order to fire the first shots of the conflict were given by none other than a young officer from Virginia named George Washington. Many men, both American and British, who would serve in the Revolutionary War found themselves engulfed in the struggle.

During King George's War, the British captured the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. This fortress was used as a bargaining chip during the negotiations for the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which officially ended the war.

What was it that both sides wanted to obtain during the French and Indian War? The answer is the same as for most wars for empire—economical and territorial expansion, and to project influence over new lands and peoples.

By the 1750s, the population of Britain’s colonies in North America was over 1 million. Its inhabitants were concentrated along the eastern seaboard from Maine (Massachusetts) to Georgia, and in Nova Scotia, which was ceded to Britain following the War of Spanish Succession. Because the Atlantic Ocean rested to the east of the colonies, there was only one direction to expand—westward. As for the French, the colony of New France numbered just over 60,000, and its territorial holdings stretched in a large arc from the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence River, through the Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The majority of settlers occupied Canada, but forts and outposts kept communications open along the waterways leading down to Louisiana. With the French to the west and the Spanish in Florida, the British colonists were boxed in. Stuck in the middle were the Native Americans, and many of them, like the Iroquois, were effective in commercially pitting Britain and France against each other all the while remaining a “neutral” nation.

New France, whose economy revolved around the fur trade, was not at all a lucrative colony for King Louis XV. That did not, however, stop France from working to prevent Britain from expanding its empire in North America. The area of contention that would ultimately serve as the spark to ignite the powder keg of war was a 200,000 square mile region known as the Ohio River Valley.

The Ohio River begins its journey at present-day Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge with it, creating what is known as the “Forks,” and eventually empties into the Mississippi River in Illinois. This waterway was crucial for France to maintain possession of in order to keep open its line of communication with its military outposts and settlements to the south. By the late 1740s, a recent uptick in British traders moving through the region to do business with the Native Americans put New France on high alert. It was only a matter of time before Britain, who saw the Forks of the Ohio as part of the King’s dominion, sent a military force from Pennsylvania or Virginia to assert its dominance in the region.

In response to the threat of British encroachment in the Ohio River Valley, in June 1749, the governor of New France dispatched a small force of over 200 men to travel through the region to reaffirm French claims and reestablish His Most Christian Majesty’s authority over the Native Americans, who were keener on trading with the British. Along the way, the French commander, Captain Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville, buried multiple lead plates inscribed with words which claimed the valley and its waterways for Louis XV. In the end, the mission was anything but a success. It was clear that the Native Americans were not solely devoted to the French any longer.

In 1747, the Ohio Company was founded to open trade into the Ohio River Valley and further expand Virginia westward. As Britain’s continued interest in the region grew, France began constructing forts below the Great Lakes with the intention of securing the Forks. The British colonies beat them there. In the spring of 1754, Virginia troops reached the confluence and began constructing a fortification. However, a larger Canadian force arrived and the Virginians abandoned the site. Subsequently, the French built Fort Duquesne. Now it was Britain’s turn to respond.

Arriving in the Ohio Country a month after the French occupied the Forks were over 100 men under the command of 22 year old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington of Virginia. They encamped 50 miles to the east of the Forks in an open field known as Great Meadows. Dispatched from Fort Duquesne and heading in their direction was a small French party led by Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville with orders to obtain intelligence on the British force and if possible, demand them to leave. Washington responded to the news of the French movement and led a force of his own to intercept them. With 40 Virginians and roughly a dozen Iroquois allies, Washington ambushed Jumonville not far from Great Meadows. These were the first shots fired during the French and Indian War and would have global ramifications. The skirmish left Jumonville and nine of his men dead, as well as twenty-one others wounded. A survivor made his way back to Fort Duquesne and reported to his superiors what had happened.

Washington returned to Great Meadows and constructed a crude palisade named Fort Necessity. On July 3, a force of over 300 Canadians and Native Americans led my Jumonville’s brother surrounded and attacked Washington. The Virginian was forced to capitulate and, through poor translating, signed a document admitting to the “assassination” of Ensign Jumonville. After receiving the news of the loss of the Ohio River Valley, London reacted. The following year, British regular regiments were on their way across the Atlantic.

Major-General Braddock's death at the Battle of the Monongahela Wikimedia

On February 19, 1755, newly-appointed Major General Edward Braddock, Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in North America, arrived in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The British were now poised to outmaneuver the French and capture territories in New York, Nova Scotia, and the Ohio River Valley before a formal declaration of war could be made between both countries. Braddock, with orders in hand from Britain’s Captain-General, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had just the plan to do so.

In the middle of April, the general met in Alexandria with the royal governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to discuss a four-pronged offensive that summer to oust the French from His Majesty’s North American dominion. Armies consisting of regular troops, colonial provincials, and Native American auxiliaries were assembled, and that summer Britain made its mighty thrust to reclaim the continent.

No war had officially been declared by Britain or France, but fighting raged in Nova Scotia, Upstate New York, and Western Pennsylvania. A British force succeeded in capturing two forts in Acadia, thus ousting French influence from the region. At the southern shore of Lake George in New York, an entirely colonial force threw back repeated assaults by professional French troops and prevented the crucial waterway from falling into enemy hands. These two victories were offset, however, by one of the most disastrous defeats in British military history. On July 9, 1755, less than ten miles outside of Fort Duquesne, a force of 1,500 regulars and provincials led by General Braddock was slaughtered at the Battle of the Monongahela. Over 900 men fell killed, wounded, or captured to the French, including Braddock, who succumbed to his wounded several days later. The British expedition that summer against Fort Niagara along Lake Ontario failed to materialize and was called off. French presence remained in the Ohio River Valley, Great Lakes, and along Lake Champlain.

Seventeen fifty-five was a disaster for British arms in North America that drew the opposing battle lines for the coming years. Blood had been spilled in an undeclared war on the continent that would ignite a world war the following spring.


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