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Wednesday, 14 August 2019


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David, your title startled me! No doubt YOU should be preserved, I thought. Maybe a light pickling will do the trick.

WW1 was no "sleepwalk" so maybe this "Germany's Aims" will help remove that notion. Germany will always be 'at it' again.

Whilst you're at your Kindle bookstore David (er that is it is a regular store allowing dust up yer nose as you rummage through the piles innit?) At any rate David I'd recommend you buy it if only for its first 90 or so pages - I'm only on 71 and just through our Seven Years War, (or as we colonials think it, The French and Indian War).

As I recall our discussions through the decade we've been at this (yes David, ol' JK has been on here the better part of a decade larnin' you) through 'Dearieme' (remember him?) expounding on his 'Farmer George' theory of why there's now a US separate from the UK; I don't consider my larnin' you to the fullest can be quite complete until you've spent at least as much time as I in this here book I'm telling you abouts pages (er, Kindle does have pages dudn't it?)

Buy the book David! Yes yes I know the cover looks like its a textbook however David it's anything but!

Thanks, JK, I read the reviews and I am intrigued. Of course, it will have to wait until I refight my way through German history first but if I can order it on Kindle then it can wait patiently until then. I was intrigued with this comment by one reviewer:

"One might quibble that McClay is rather too generous to the tyrant Henry VIII and rather too harsh toward conservative stalwart and failed presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, but overall the tone is just right."

Yes that comment is somewhat intriguing David.

Don't reckon the reviewer maybe mixed up his Cromwells do you?

No surely not. That'd be another of those 'Coincidence Thingys' probably making it impossible for you to further your understanding Frau Merkel and Associates more keenly.


Reckon this one'll be one of those that quickly disappears down that proverbial 'memory hole'?

Ever recall my mentioning 'a lot could be done simply by enforcing laws that are already on the books'?

Money quote from that above: "identified him as Maurice Hill, 36 — a Philadelphia man with a lengthy history of gun convictions and of resisting attempts to bring him to justice."

Yo David?

I dint nae know your Will uz homaging a Scot - Cain't say I ever read mention o' it on thisear blogly.

Whitewall, Germany will always be at it again and blame the usual suspects! Us and anyone else.

JK, I don't think "homaging a Scot" was the first thing on Will's mind!

The only sleepwalkers were the sovereigns themselves, in particular Wilhelm and Franz Josef. Their immediate subordinates were wide awake, and burning with ambitions -- while the only one who might have managed to tamp down the crisis had just been assassinated.

"Their immediate subordinates were wide awake, and burning with ambitions".

None more so than von Schlieffen!

And Conrad von Hötzendorf.

But yes, an axiom of von Schlieffen's plan made war inevitable as soon as there was mobilization either to East or West; it assumed that it would be fatal for Germany to fight two fronts at once, so it had to strike first.

A doomsday machine.

Thanks, Malcolm, "Conrad von Hötzendorf" is a new name to me.

Also, perhaps you would like to venture a guess as to whether or not von Schlieffen's plan would have succeeded if he had been there to implement it?

Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit über das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.

You're welcome.

"Also, perhaps you would like to venture a guess as to whether or not von Schlieffen's plan would have succeeded if he had been there to implement it?"

Above my pay-grade, that one. But you could put the blame on Moltke, for diverting some of the attacking troops east to defend against Russia, or Kluck and Bülow, who agreed (without authorization) to move Kluck's troops to the east of Paris, rather than completing the encirclement as Schlieffen had planned.

A good analysis is in this wonderful book, A World Undone.

Very apt, JK. That quote, usually rendered in English as "no battle-plan survives initial contact with the enemy", is from the great Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke -- whose son, a lesser man by far, was the one I mentioned just above.

I think Moltke senior would have stuck to Schlieffen's plan. The area west of Paris, where Schlieffen wanted the German right hand to strike, was more lightly defended than where Kluck's men ended up. The encirclement might well have worked, and France would likely have surrendered in short order.

Yes, Malcolm, I'm with you in thinking that Schlieffen's plan executed by the man himself would probably have succeeded and after all, I was a Corporal - substantive, mind!

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