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Old 10th December 2012, 08:53 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
So forces without strategic bombers might consider that terror shooting and murder of civilians is a blunt tool but the only tool available which allows the production capacity of the nemy to be hindered. So that's all right, then.
Or, look at it this way:

You are an allied commander in WW2. How many of your soldiers (who are just civilians drafted for the duration of the war) would you sacrifice in order to minimize losses amongst the enemy civilians working amongst enemy industry/infrastructure?

(And if you were to prioritise the lives of enemy citizens over your own, how long do you think you'd keep your job?)
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Old 10th December 2012, 11:47 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Or, look at it this way:

You are an allied commander in WW2. How many of your soldiers (who are just civilians drafted for the duration of the war) would you sacrifice in order to minimize losses amongst the enemy civilians working amongst enemy industry/infrastructure?

(And if you were to prioritise the lives of enemy citizens over your own, how long do you think you'd keep your job?)
Don't ask me. Ask the terrorists, your enemies, who do the same thing. But not having fleets of heavy bombers, they can't achieve the same body count figures. They do try, I admit.

Last edited by Craig B; 10th December 2012 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:27 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
So forces without strategic bombers might consider that terror shooting and murder of civilians is a blunt tool but the only tool available which allows the production capacity of the nemy to be hindered. So that's all right, then.

In a modern industrialized nation-state of the kind which existed in WWII, the distinction between civilian and military is not nearly as clear as many would like to think. There was a simple equation: no civilians, no economy; no economy, no military; no military, no war. A military cannot exist without provisions: food, water, fuel, ammunition, spare parts, equipment, armaments, personnel. Those provisions are provided by the civilians in the factories, powered by civilians operating the electricity generating plants and oil refineries, the raw resources and finished provisions transported by railways, trucks, and boats operated by civilians.

If the civilians of Germany during WWII had collectively stopped working, war production would have ceased and the German military would have collapsed not long afterwards. (For all the training in the world, troops cannot effectively fight for long with ammunition and other vital supplies.)

Even during ancient times armies still needed supplies, and these were often seized from local civilians rather than produced back home and shipped to the front. In short, the effort of civilians has always allowed a military to exist in the field. Without that civilian production, armies wither away relatively quickly.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:31 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
The Pig War. San Juan Island, 1859. US v Canada. No human casualties.

My kinda war!
And the border dispute in question has remained peacefully solved ever since.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:37 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
But not having fleets of heavy bombers, they can't achieve the same body count figures. They do try, I admit.

You should familiarize yourself with the effects the Combined Bomber Offensive had on Germany during WWII. There were notable. In particular, the Oil and Transportation Plans were key components in ultimately crippling the German war economy (which in turn made Allied victory easier than it would have otherwise been).

Now, that is not to say the Allies didn't make mistakes in prosecuting the aerial war. They certainly did. There were mistakes in tactics, a slowness to recognize that certain pre-war theories were wrong, and other issues. With the benefit of hindsight, the bombing campaign could have been waged far more effectively with fewer casualties (on both sides). But, as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

(Of course, if we are going to gift the Allies with the benefit of hindsight, then we ought to grant the Axis the same benefit. In which case the latter recognizes the danger of strategic bombing earlier and does much more to counteract it than it did in reality. In which case perhaps in the end casualties remain largely the same.)
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Old 10th December 2012, 01:15 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Don't ask me. Ask the terrorists, your enemies, who do the same thing. But not having fleets of heavy bombers, they can't achieve the same body count figures. They do try, I admit.
You appear to be having difficulty in distinguishing between moral and immoral justifications.

Try this for a mind boggling exercise:

1940: Germany invades France - thousands of French civilians die.

1944: Allies invade France - thousands of French civilians die.


Now, if you really couldn't tell the moral difference between the Allied bomber campaign and terrorist attacks, then I guess you wont be able to tell the difference between those two invasions of France.
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Old 10th December 2012, 01:19 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
That view requires that modern western culture really is a direct descendant of ancient greek culture, rather than simply a response to changing times, circumstances, and technology
Obviously. And I think it is. I am not sure how you could argue otherwise.
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Old 10th December 2012, 03:01 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Obviously. And I think it is. I am not sure how you could argue otherwise.
Probably because democratic/republican government died sometime around the time of Octavian and we are living in its second round which didn't start up until centuries later.
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Old 10th December 2012, 05:27 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Probably because democratic/republican government died sometime around the time of Octavian and we are living in its second round which didn't start up until centuries later.
The Roman Empire ceased to be functionally democratic, but it still preserved the cultural values of the Republic, which were in turn carried over into many western feudal kingdoms.

And even accepting that the Roman Empire stopped being democratic, the principals of democracy survived in both the Roman Empire and subsequent medieval states at various levels.

It was these cultural values and democratic principals, preserved in varying degrees, that ultimately led to the development of modern western civilisation.
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Old 10th December 2012, 05:52 PM   #90
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I believe the most successful war I know of was La guerre des tuques ("The War of the Tuques").

Its success, in my view, can be measured in three ways:

1. There was a total of only one death.
2. The opposing sides joined together in friendship to mourn the one loss.
3. It was entirely make-believe.
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Old 10th December 2012, 06:56 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
... There was a simple equation: no civilians, no economy; no economy, no military; no military, no war. A military cannot exist without provisions: food, water, fuel, ammunition, spare parts, equipment, armaments, personnel. Those provisions are provided by the civilians in the factories, powered by civilians operating the electricity generating plants and oil refineries, the raw resources and finished provisions transported by railways, trucks, and boats operated by civilians.
That's very clear. In strategic bombing campaigns, civilians are the primary target, and their elimination is the goal. It is thus not the case, as others have suggested, that they are unfortunately subject to collateral damage because they live and work in proximity to important industrial plants an other physical targets.
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Old 10th December 2012, 07:29 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's very clear. In strategic bombing campaigns, civilians are the primary target, and their elimination is the goal. It is thus not the case, as others have suggested, that they are unfortunately subject to collateral damage because they live and work in proximity to important industrial plants an other physical targets.
You are wrong.
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Old 10th December 2012, 08:44 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Interesting attempt to rewrite history there.
Syria and Jordan supported terrorist attacks on common borders in the years leading up to the 1967 war. The also threatened to invade Isreal on many occasions

The Israelis attacked Egypt with a pre-emptive air strike on June 5 because their intelligence told them they were about to be attacked themselves.

If the Arab nations would leave Israel alone, they will leave the Arab nations alone.

Simple.
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Old 10th December 2012, 08:46 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's very clear. In strategic bombing campaigns, civilians are the primary target, and their elimination is the goal. It is thus not the case, as others have suggested, that they are unfortunately subject to collateral damage because they live and work in proximity to important industrial plants an other physical targets.
You are wrong... In both suggestion and fact:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing
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Old 10th December 2012, 10:16 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's very clear. In strategic bombing campaigns, civilians are the primary target, and their elimination is the goal.

The reality is far more complicated and nuanced than that. If one is talking about the WWII experience, the first thing one must do is separate the British and American bombing efforts. After that there are all manner of details that have to be considered and placed into context. To try and reduce the subject to the simplistic rhetoric you are offering does it a great disservice.

Furthermore, if the goal had really just been to kill people and nothing more, then the Allies could have done a vastly more effective job. Chemical weapons (of which the Allies had plenty) and biological weapons, for example, could have been employed. They were not. The Allies would not have wasted time, effort, and crews to attack such things as oil refineries, railway lines, aircraft engine and airframe factories, steel mills, ball bearing plants, and other similar targets. Yet they did attack such targets. If simply plastering a city area was sufficient, the Allies would not have spent the time and effort they did on trying to continually improve bombing accuracy by operational and technological means.
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Old 10th December 2012, 11:38 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
You are wrong... In both suggestion and fact:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing
I was simply inferring a conclusion from Corsair's previous post. No civilians, no war. It is not I who am saying this, but Corsair 115: no civilians, no economy, no military, no war.
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:04 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I was simply inferring a conclusion from Corsair's previous post. No civilians, no war. It is not I who am saying this, but Corsair 115: no civilians, no economy, no military, no war.
But that begs the question. What exactly is a civilian in a war where the complete economies and productions of nations are pitted against each other?
WWII wasn't a war of army against army. It was a war of nation against nation (or more precise nation alliance against nation alliance).
Who then is a civilian in this situation of existential war?
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:33 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
But that begs the question. What exactly is a civilian in a war where the complete economies and productions of nations are pitted against each other?
WWII wasn't a war of army against army. It was a war of nation against nation (or more precise nation alliance against nation alliance).
Who then is a civilian in this situation of existential war?
International law recognises a difference. WWII was a war of government and armed forces. Germany as a nation didn't invade France as a nation. One regime invaded the territory of another, and the army of that other country was defeated and its rulers capitulated. It was a war in which regimes employed the resources of nations, their own and conquered ones. Thus Germany employed the French economy and industry. But the allies never carpet bombed French cities. They rightly went for significant targets. This indicates that the carpet bombing of Germany was a voluntary act. So was the murderous air onslaught on the unfortunate people of N Korea.
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:51 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
International law recognises a difference. WWII was a war of government and armed forces. Germany as a nation didn't invade France as a nation. One regime invaded the territory of another, and the army of that other country was defeated and its rulers capitulated. It was a war in which regimes employed the resources of nations, their own and conquered ones. Thus Germany employed the French economy and industry. But the allies never carpet bombed French cities. They rightly went for significant targets. This indicates that the carpet bombing of Germany was a voluntary act. So was the murderous air onslaught on the unfortunate people of N Korea.
The war was a total war/totaler krieg, where everyone was doing his/her little bit in the ongoing struggle. It is nice that we today make a distinction between government and population, as if the two are seperate entities in the same country that have nothing to do with eachother, but that wasn't the case in WWII (isn't really now, but that is another discussion not for this topic).

Anyway. You didn't really answer my question.
An few examples.
Is the traindriver who delivers the ammunition to the front a civilian? How about the people who repair the tanks? Build the u-boats? And I mean when they are doing their job.

Oh and about those French cities? Ever wonder why the city centre of Le Havre consists only of modern post war buidlings?
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Old 11th December 2012, 01:36 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
The Man-Kzin Wars, which changed the nature of an entire species.
Might as well call that the 'Puppeteers vs. Everyone else' proxy war.
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Old 11th December 2012, 01:37 AM   #101
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Any war that's not a land war in asia, and doesn't involve going up against a sicilian when death is on the line.
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Old 11th December 2012, 01:40 AM   #102
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What about the 7 Day War? Israel kicked a team of nations butts and took a bunch of land. And they were the ones attacked!!!!

If that isn't success I don't know what is!

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Old 11th December 2012, 01:52 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
If the Arab nations would leave Israel alone, they will leave the Arab nations alone.

Simple.
Suez. But nice try.
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Old 11th December 2012, 01:55 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
What about the 7 Day War? Israel kicked a team of nations butts and took a bunch of land. And they were the ones attacked!!!
Err the only thing refered to as the 7 Day War was the Polish–Czechoslovak War in 1919.
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:01 AM   #105
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wasn't the dang Israeli war against Egypt Syria...etc called that?


I could have mixed my war titles up... I shall google and see and return with my ,very likely, red face


ETA: 6 DAY WAR..........so I was off a day! lol
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:03 AM   #106
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What about the 7 6 Day War? Israel kicked a team of nations butts and took a bunch of land. And they were the ones attacked!!!!

If that isn't success I don't know what is!
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:23 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Is the traindriver who delivers the ammunition to the front a civilian? How about the people who repair the tanks? Build the u-boats? And I mean when they are doing their job.
Munition trains and military shipyards are legitimate military targets, and outwith the terms of the anti-civilian strategic bombing campaigns, thus irrelevant to this discussion.
Quote:
Oh and about those French cities? Ever wonder why the city centre of Le Havre consists only of modern post war buidlings?
Not since I looked it up and found that civilians were indeed not the target.
Quote:
On 5 September 1944, 335 aircraft from RAF Bomber Command dropped 1,882 tons of bombs on the centre of Le Havre, aiming at a ‘troop concentration’ that was not there.
Asi have wriitten, the Allies rightly limited themselves to significant targets in occupied France, and this is most evidently such a case. Allied ground forces were engaged nearby at the time.
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:45 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
...
BTW? The Axis countries are still there. They were not destroyed.
That's perhaps the biggest success of WW2: That the loser countries are still there, prosperous, and good friends with the victors.
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:53 AM   #109
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The Duchy of Grand Fenwick/USA War
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:55 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
BTW? The Axis countries are still there. They were not destroyed.
Really? Strange that I can't find the Greater German Reich on the map. Or the Italian Social Republic. Or the Empire of Japan. Even the French State seems to have dissolved somehow.
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Old 11th December 2012, 03:09 AM   #111
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WWII

Despite it being an absolutely terrible war, the (Western) victors succeeded in implementing their political system of liberal democracy in the conquered countries.
The change was genuine and didn't need to be enforced, once implemented. And it made those countries natural allies of the West.

The Soviet bloc also succeeded in implementing it's political system in the countries it conquered.
For many decades their populations grudgingly wore Bulgarian shoes, drove plastic cars and secretly listened to Jimi Hendrix.
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Old 11th December 2012, 03:31 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
The Man-Kzin Wars, which changed the nature of an entire species.


Nice to see a fellow Larry Niven fan on the forum.
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Old 11th December 2012, 03:44 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Suez. But nice try.

Hey perhaps you might want to think about this. Its a hypothetical but....

There are two identical American airliners sitting on the tarmac at a US airport. They are both going to the destination you are travelling to, both departure times are the same, as are the arrival times at your destination i.e. it doesn't matter which one you decide to get on.

You see 5 young Arab men boarding plane "A"

You see 5 young Israeli men boarding plane "B"

I know which one I'll be boarding, do you?
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► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.
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Old 11th December 2012, 04:08 AM   #114
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Whichever one I happen to have already bought the ticket for.

Seriously, I wouldn't give a crap. The differential odds of a random Arab vs a a random Israeli intending harm are so small as to be a waste of time to worry about. I'd rather spend the same time paying attention to the attitude of people boarding.
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Old 11th December 2012, 04:47 AM   #115
Damien Evans
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Hey perhaps you might want to think about this. Its a hypothetical but....

There are two identical American airliners sitting on the tarmac at a US airport. They are both going to the destination you are travelling to, both departure times are the same, as are the arrival times at your destination i.e. it doesn't matter which one you decide to get on.

You see 5 young Arab men boarding plane "A"

You see 5 young Israeli men boarding plane "B"

I know which one I'll be boarding, do you?
Yes, the one I've got a ticket for, lets call it Emirates, an Arabian airline notable for the lack of terrorist attacks using its planes.
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Old 11th December 2012, 05:42 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
wasn't the dang Israeli war against Egypt Syria...etc called that?


I could have mixed my war titles up... I shall google and see and return with my ,very likely, red face


ETA: 6 DAY WAR..........so I was off a day! lol
They rested on the 7th day.

That war is like Trotsky's assessment of whether the French Revolution was a good thing. He thought it was too early to say.
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Old 11th December 2012, 06:09 AM   #117
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If you mean profiting by winning a conflict then I'd say the various european wars against the native americans which netted the victors the entire continents.
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Old 11th December 2012, 06:13 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Obviously. And I think it is. I am not sure how you could argue otherwise.
The argument is simply that culture is, to a large degree, a response to circumstances: that modern democracy evolved not as a continuation of the ancient greek tradition, but rather as a response to the world as it was at the time that it developed

The fact that the individuals involved referenced old ideas and were even influenced by them doesn't suggest that those ideas were themselves instrumental in that development
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Old 11th December 2012, 06:15 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
World War II not only defeated the Axis but completely destroyed them. The victors completely destroyed the officer/military class of both countries. They partitioned one of the countries. Both had their constitutions rewritten by the victors and both still host the military forces of the victors.
That would be considered extremely successful, had the Allies started it.
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Old 11th December 2012, 06:21 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by aggle-rithm View Post
That would be considered extremely successful, had the Allies started it.
WWI was very successful in the following way, as described by Dave Barry:

...by 1919 europe had been transformed, at a cost of only several million dead persons, from a group of nations that hated each other into a group of nations that really hated each other.
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