Why are people so obsessed with WW2?

Edward M. Grant

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I forget the details, but there's a probably real story about Hitler going to visit his Brownshirts in their early years and arriving to find them in the middle of a gay orgy. Apparently the Communists used to make fun of them for that.

If I remember correctly, most of the leaders from that era ended up dead a few years later.
 

Montero

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@Edward M. Grant
Goodness me. Now some people on SFF have subjects they are particularly strong on, Kylara and horses for example. You look like you are the person for weird stuff from WW2 :) (Weird stuff as in the kind of stuff school lessons just don't cover.....)

I too remember there being something about the leaders from the era not surviving. Makes sense - the kind of people who start a revolution do not necessarily have the sort of personality that fits in well with the hierarchical organisation that follows once said revolution is successful.
 

Vladd67

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Can't help wondering whether the drug habit caused the war, or shortened it - I guess depends on how much and when. Hitler attacking Russia was a bonkers move.

Oh, and you can bring in sex.....penicillin was developed and came into use in the latter part of WW2 - and a lot was used curing Allied troops of venereal disease. The Nazis didn't have it...

And not Rock and Roll - but jazz - the Nazis banned it as degenerate music. Germans couldn't listen to it or play it, but the Nazis didn't care about the countries they'd conquered and there was a thriving jazz scene in Paris in WW2. (Source of that - documentary called Tunes for Tyrants which is worth watching.)
The Germans may not have been able to listen to jazz, but I imagine the Italians could, after all Mussolini was a jazz musician at one stage
 

Av Demeisen

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Inspired by this thread, I finally started Norman Ohler's Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany which had been quietly sitting on a shelf for some years.
 

Montero

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The Germans may not have been able to listen to jazz, but I imagine the Italians could, after all Mussolini was a jazz musician at one stage
We watched the Tunes for Tyrants a bit at a time, don't recall anything on Mussolini. Saying that, it's interesting how Hitler eclipses Mussolini in terms of how much attention paid in the UK. Also, while the Italian government was allied with Hitler's I have no idea whether the Italians had the same Master Race obsession. I do recall though, that there is a film I watched some time back on an Italian Catholic priest who ran an underground getting Italian Jews to safety, and at the end of the film, there was text showing how the percentage of Jews rescued in Italy was far higher than in the rest of Europe.

And now for some facts....
A bit of searching shows the film was called The Assisi Underground. Further searching gives this L Rescue of Jews by Catholics during the Holocaust - Wikipedia regarding how the Catholic church stood against Nazi policies and rescued a lot of people across Europe.
I didn't know about the latter. I think some of the fascination of WW2 is what a lot happened - not just big army actions but all sorts of stuff - and thanks to modern records and the war being relatively recent, the stories are being preserved. Maybe part of the obsession comes from making sure it is preserved.
 

Vladd67

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I think that had Mussolini taken the same route Franco did he may well have stayed in power longer. Of course there may well have been a communist inspired uprising to kick him out.
 

Alan Aspie

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...they attacked Finland a few years later. The much smaller Finnish army inflicted some serious damage and causalities on them. The Red Army prevailed but...
Yeah... They prevailed. Like in the road of Raate.

16 500 Russians prevailed. 3200 Finns politely asked them to stop.
7 000 - 8 000 Russians and 402 Finns died.

Russians left some stuff when they left. Finns thanked.

Battle of Raate Road - Wikipedia

And in Kollaa they also prevailed. Hundreds of meters.

Battle of Kollaa - Wikipedia
 

Alan Aspie

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I wonder about this. If true...
Maybe you should read about it.

Russians had two chains of command: political and military. Every unit had a political officer besides a military officer.

Military officers orders were not valid if political officer did not ok them.

Military officers had a power to execute anyone at any time at any reason if they saw it necessary. If military officer did not obey political officer he got a bullet in his head.

You can start reading from this dude.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - Wikipedia
 

Graymalkin

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In answer to the original post I'd echo some that WWII represented the biggest single global power reshuffle up to date. And in relatively modern times. We in UK have been lucky for the last 70 years. While large swathes of the planet have continued dealing with the fall out from WWII, we've enjoyed our sheltered geographical location. I think these things produce a curious fascination with war.
Every year hundreds of individuals and entire families dress up in military uniforms and civilian costumes and invade a small rural area near me. They wander about for two days and return to their modern lives. I have mixed feelings about it. I know war veterans who are thoroughly against it. Some say it's a bit of fun. Makes me a bit uncomfortable. One group dressed as German Paratroopers 'attacked' another group at a railway station. It turned into a real fight. All seems a bit weird. Make love etc.
 

sknox

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>Maybe you should read about it.
Maybe I have.

>Military officers orders were not valid if political officer did not ok them.
More properly: some military officers' orders were not valid if a political officer did not ok them.
Some orders were things like peel these potatoes, or empty the latrine. Pretty sure the political officer did not have to ok those.

Look, there's no doubt that there were times when the political officer overruled the military officer to the detriment of the operation. There were certainly military officers who were murdered for political reasons. I was only disagreeing with the reductionism, and with the implication that Russian soldiers fought only because they were afraid of being shot by their own commanders. I was trying to give them credit for honest patriotism, or at the very least for the same sort of muddled idealism to be found in most any group of young men.
 

Vladd67

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In answer to the original post I'd echo some that WWII represented the biggest single global power reshuffle up to date. And in relatively modern times. We in UK have been lucky for the last 70 years. While large swathes of the planet have continued dealing with the fall out from WWII, we've enjoyed our sheltered geographical location. I think these things produce a curious fascination with war.
Every year hundreds of individuals and entire families dress up in military uniforms and civilian costumes and invade a small rural area near me. They wander about for two days and return to their modern lives. I have mixed feelings about it. I know war veterans who are thoroughly against it. Some say it's a bit of fun. Makes me a bit uncomfortable. One group dressed as German Paratroopers 'attacked' another group at a railway station. It turned into a real fight. All seems a bit weird. Make love etc.
A friend of mine is in a fallschirmjäger re-enactment group and he said at displays they sometimes let members of the public try out the gear, anyway at one event the groups ‘expert’ was laying down the law over how things were worn etc. (Every group has them, I knew a couple in the Sealed Knot) when this pensioner who had joined the unit for the day and had been dressed up in the uniform told him he was talking rubbish, or words to that effect, turns out he had been captured at Monte Cassino at had ended up as a POW in the UK and never went home.
 
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Well that is someone you sit down and interview for posterity.

I saw "somewhere" that exactly what was carried and when is already being lost for all countries' militaries in WW2 because records weren't all kept - as in model of water bottle issued, style of boot, etc, etc. And often it wasn't quite as standardised as you might expect depending on how different factories did stuff, older kit being re-used etc.

I know it's a lot earlier, but the English Civil War period - they used stuff from government and private armouries and it could be Elizabethan or earlier. With commanders of a regiment paying for the outfitting, it got pretty mixed. (And there was the joy of having the same colour coats in opposing regiments - woad blue being popular because it was cheap leading to field signs - as in identifier assumed for the day - coloured rag round your arm or whatever.)
 

sknox

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Yeah, the whole business of dressing the same is pretty recent. It got pioneered during the 30 Years War. It adds hugely to the expense of operating an army, for one thing, and earlier governments lacked both the cash and the organizational resources to pull it off.
 

Vladd67

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Well that is someone you sit down and interview for posterity.

I saw "somewhere" that exactly what was carried and when is already being lost for all countries' militaries in WW2 because records weren't all kept - as in model of water bottle issued, style of boot, etc, etc. And often it wasn't quite as standardised as you might expect depending on how different factories did stuff, older kit being re-used etc.

I know it's a lot earlier, but the English Civil War period - they used stuff from government and private armouries and it could be Elizabethan or earlier. With commanders of a regiment paying for the outfitting, it got pretty mixed. (And there was the joy of having the same colour coats in opposing regiments - woad blue being popular because it was cheap leading to field signs - as in identifier assumed for the day - coloured rag round your arm or whatever.)
I don’t know what it was like in ECWS but in the Knot when Parliament started wear their New Model Army redcoats it made it a little boring to see. I missed the different colours.
 

Montero

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We stayed pre-New Model Army in my time. In fact, I remember a new London Trained Band starting up and they were a bunch drawn mostly from firemen and policemen - they decided to wear blue so they'd be the boys in blue.....
There were intermittent attempts by some higher-ups for more uniformity - saying too many felt hats, or too many boots, or..... generally got ignored. The period reality was the richer regiments would provide breeches, coat and shirt and the poorer ones coat only, so breeches and stockings in all sorts of colours was more authentic.
 

Montero

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Ooh my yes, so expensive! so inappropriate that you have one!
Mind you I once had a lovely conversation with a gentleman wearing a leather waistcoat. I think his feathers had just been ruffled by someone because he saw me looking at the waistcoat and spontaneously explained how the house cow had died, he'd taken the hide to the tannery, the tanner had charged half the hide for tanning it and his waistcoat plus leather for shoes was the rest of it. Nice one. :)
 

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