Archive for September, 2011


Information for our readers

Dear Readers

We would like to take this time to say sorry for the lack on content; this week. This is mainly due to all of our contributors are returning to their respected institutions. Do not fear normal service will resume soon we are conducted work as we speak. Little peak of two of this weeks work. The American Revolution was it really everybody ?. Then we have the second part of the French Revolution Saga, with an article on the French Revolutionary wars , and the rise of Napoleon. As Mr Wilkinson continues on his quest through the period. On a side not the filming side of the History Guys work we have managed to hopefully get a dedicated camera crew. Plus also work wont pick up until November,  December. We have no budget so don’t expect BBC standard. We may expand into Historical podcasts maybe if we get the chance, but we don’t think it may work.

Watch this Space Ladies and gentlemen

From HistoryGuys Team

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Battle of Britain Turning Point ?

Disclaimer: Work was done on site with filming is being done as we speak as well (also apologise for the weird paragraphing will be sorted asap)

This edition of the History Guys blog, was actually done on the site of the Battle of Britain Memorial near Folkestone Kent. Take into account the below statement made by Richard Evans.

Irrespective of whether Hitler was really set on this course, he simply lacked the resources to establish the air superiority that was the sine qua non of a successful crossing of the English Channel. A third of the initial strength of the German air force, the Luftwaffe, had been lost in the western campaign in the spring. The Germans lacked the trained pilots, the effective fighter planes, and the heavy bombers that would have been needed. (Evans, Richard J. “Immoral Rearmament” ).

 

The Battle of Britain, is taught in most schools in the United Kingdom as a major turning point in the second world war. How much of this is true ? Most people know the course of the battle and how in respect to the airmen involved it was a mixed affair for the Royal Airforce. Who ironically the best aces were the exiled Polish Fighter Pilots.  Interesting to note is that most military historians believe that even if the south-east of England was lost to the German Airforce the RAF would have pulled back simply to the north of London and kept up operations. Realistically it may not have made much difference to Combat operations.

Back on topic. The politically the victory showed the Americans that the British in a sense were not simply going to roll over and die. This would prompt the so-called Arsenal of Democracy. With the British fighting in North Africa and really to Hitler this was only a side-show and to a point he is right. What the Battle of Britain did provide the Allies with the most important asset. This is the form of a country sized aircraft carrier of the coast of mainland Europe.  This would help provide the basis for the Landings in Operation Torch, Italy and Normandy.  Must mention the importance of the bomber offensive, and how strategic bomber bases were used to help hit the heart of the German war machine.

Is the Battle a turning point yes to an extent, it made it much

more easier for the Allies to hit back at the Axis powers in the long-term. The short-term effects it postponed the invasion. There is no possible way that the Germans could have invaded with the air cover in place, due the massive presence of the Royal Navy.

One of our contributors turns 21 today, a big miles stone in any ones life. He typed up his Top ten moments in his 21 years on this planet, even including the ones when he was only 1 or 2 it’s still counts he was alive for them.

pictures will speak more than words in this post. 9/11 and 7/7 wont feature as well they feature in everyone’s list. (but they are important). He would like to stress these represent no political views or associations that the writer has.

1. The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the End of the Cold war

 

 

2. Princess Diana’s Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. New Labour winning in 1997

4. The First Gulf War operation Desert Storm

5. The Queen Elizabeth II  Golden Jubilee

6. Creation of the Euro

7. The Internet or the World Wide web as we know it

 

8.  Genocide in the former Yugoslavia

 

9. London Riots 2011

 

10.  The Apple I Pod

 

There are many more to name a few, but it makes me wonder for the actual short period that myself have been on the planet how much and quickly things have changed.

The Chickens Come Home to Roost

Today is of course the Ten Year mark since the 9/11 attacks on the world trade centre. First time in recent history that US soil has been attacked on such a large-scale. We here have to be very careful and this post will be heavily moderated, so any one saying the usual the Bush did it or over stuff will be deleted, straight away. We are gonna look at the Historical impact that this has had on the last Ten Years of world history.

Where do we start well 1990/1991 First Gulf war sees the start of a new world order, the cold war is over ( or is it?). United Nations fighting Saddam. A little Saudi exile offered to help drive Iraq out of Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia. This mans  name was Osama Bin laden. He was rejected and disgusted at the influx of western ideals and troops into a Muslim country. (of course there is much more to this), can be seen as the catalyst for the start of the Holy war which America did not treat seriously. In respect to Bill Clinton in the years after Bush, put together a very good plan to deal with the threat .

Now the world after 9/11 has changed drastically, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (no discussion of the later here ether). The after effects were felt in other countries like Spain and the United Kingdom. Which ironically enough are no stranger to acts of this such Through the Basques in Spain and the massive amounts of Splinter Groups in the IRA. The world has not become a safer place, ironically in that respect the Cold War could have been considered a safer period. The impact of global politics is interesting you have started to see a much more of a Gulf between European powers and America maybe excluding Britain. With the wars of the aftermath of 9/11 you can even imply this to know due to the Nato intervention over Libya, was a distinctly British and French Affair where America was very reluctant to get involved. Maybe you are seeing a two war syndrome from America just maybe.

United Kingdoms Role in the Modern World has it changed ? or will it after the SDSR cuts?

This is where the history does not go out of the Window. I don’t want to seem Like an armchair general. Hands up I am not one of them a historian yes.

(map of British Dependent states. Not forgetting you Falkland islanders+ the independent zone on Cyprus)

The United Kingdom has lost its Empire yes, we are not a major player as compared to America or dare I say the new rising countries. I gonna use a term used by a friend of mine who I meet during University. He was an Indian called Bobin. ” Britain is like the wise old grandfather, sitting back and watching the world around him, wise and been there before. America and China and even my own nation are trying to run before they can walk. Britain is that nation which plays nations off each other for the benefit of the rest” I was very flattered by that statement. British Policy is always two-fold to protect national interests, whether they be Economic or mineral. Also lastly it is to make sure that one single power dominates, to provide a balance. You may think of god how can the United Kingdom go up against the likes of America and Russia etc. Economic terms no. That statement may seem counter-productive to my own argument.  Take a look at the above map of British dependencies on the world stage that we ether have military bases or naval ports on. The effective striking power of the United Kingdom across the world is impressive. Naval power even though how small the navy is in today’s world can easily project power from these alloted points. Mind you not on two fronts, that is what we have Nato and god bless America.  Even though we have proved we can conduct operations with out US help. Sierra Leone, Falklands, the Troubles which provided most of the counter insurgency work we see now days, hell give us the credit for Libya America took much a back seat no matter what the US media tells you.

It comes to my view that weather like it or not we should turn back to this original policy of reacting when needed, but keep the balance of power. It sounds crazy as hell to you readers but that is what most non UK people in the world see us maybe except the French, that’s no national biased right there. Always blame the French, answers to that on a post card please.

We need to take the approach of the British policies before the two great wars. ( yes we were a great power then and I don’t mean go and colonise countries) . I mean protecting British interests and shipping through the use of the Royal Navy (80% of our goods come from the merchant shipping it hasn’t changed since the time the Navies conception) , and have in effect a small army but ready to expand at the call of a conflict that arises, but make sure that force is equipped to fight different roles. conventional or counter insurgency.  That is the way forward to provide that balance but protect our colonies ;), but to also if needed scale up the force needed through the territorial army, if you want it to be a military perspective.

Disclaimer:  Some views in this topic may seen different to the ones posted in the previous entry. This is due to this covering Britians role after the cuts have been put through in my view.

Here we go Again 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14741844

Today we find out that more people from the armed forces, are losing their jobs due to the recent SDSR. Now of course we don,t want this post to turn into a political debate. my view is like right what the hell is going on but that is just me. I explain our little island nations role in the world later. Odd enough as it sounds it has not really changed. TIme for the historical perspective.

As we all know the United Kingdom is fighting as they say its most desperate fighting since the Korean War. Now this pretty much is true and we all have this talk of high-tech weapons, and equipment and that we need to give our boys the best that they can have. This much is true, but what we have to understand which i don’t think many people understand, and dare ever our leaders at the top. Besides the obvious that Afghanistan has never been conquered we all know that bit. What we forget it is a conflict that is from a different time and age, but it needs one thing man power and to get a little bit dirty, no matter how much technology who have on your side. I am talking about the Boer War it has remarkable similarities to the current conflict only from a British strategic view. It takes grunt work on the ground you throw bodies at it. Sounds bad but if you want to win that is what you need, if you want to win that type of war.

Now take the blockhouse system(images above). Built-in south africa during the conflict what it basically represents in a modern view is Nato Patrol bases. Deny the enemy movement into the local population. I am not advocating the concentration camps which were used hell no that would create more problems than good. ( Americans were the first to use them in the Spanish-American War it recently came to light).

After the Boer conflict massive army reforms were needed, and the expansion of the Territorial army. Hmm it does sound all very recent to modern-day events. The army was cut back down again as well no need for it the Navy was there to provide the wooden wall.

(the two pictures oddly look similar)

Now also there were medical reforms, and much tougher reforms for people to join the army due to the poor medical health of the nation. Now of course this is a conflict comparison and well, with world co-operation during the Opium wars. With nearly every great power on the world stage actually working together. ( I shall post this amazing image when i dig it up). No one saw the mess that would follow in 1914. No one if you take it from the so-called Joe blogs perspective in the street.

Now we fast forward

Has anybody heard of the 1920’s coalition the last peace time coalition government, was Conservative government, cleaning up the mess of the nations finances. (How times change) any way below is the worst cuts in the History of the British armed forces. Oh dont forget our hero Winston Chuchill and his ten Year rule. Below is an account of the spending cuts made during the last worst cut Back in UK military spending. And No one Saw World War Two coming till it was a bit late ether. We just dont know what is gonna come out from around the corner.

The Geddes Axe 

Taxation per head per annum (brackets contain todays value)

1919;£18 (£539.46)

1920;£22(£659.34)

1921;£24(£719.28)

Cost of Combined UK armed Forces 1922; £190 million(£5,694,300,000.00)

National Debt 1922 ; £359.8 million£10,783,206,000.00

Office of National Statistics

Interesting Read article on the topic: Henry Higgs, ‘The Geddes Reports and the Budget’, The Economic Journal, Vol. 32, No. 126. (Jun., 1922), p. 252 http://www.jstor.org/pss/2223277