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Why?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by SOAR21, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. SOAR21

    SOAR21 Member

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    As a teenager, I often encounter the questions from all ages: What is it you like to do? What is your favorite subject?

    The answer World War 2 turns heads. The reaction I get is almost always the same. First, they look at me like I'm a warmonger, then, like I am hopelessly lost, moving the wrong direction in time. They ask, "Why?" To tell you the truth, I can never answer that question. Why? Because.

    So, in light of all this, what makes you guys want to learn about World War 2? Definitely, the knowledge of many of you far surpasses mine.

    I don't expect an objective answer, but...Why?
     
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  2. tikilal

    tikilal Ace

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    It is interesting. Applies to the present. Lots of documentation. A little on the romantic side. (not love but heroic.) Just a few things off the top of my head.
     
  3. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    It shaped the world into how we know it. It effected the world on a global scale. It shifted power from Europe to Asia, a place long viewed as inferior. It established the US as a World Power. It launched the Cold War Arms Race. It created Assembly Lines and Mass Production. It created technologies that didn't exist before that have benefited civilian life tenfold.
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I am far from being a teenager, but when I was, I might have had some of the same answers as you do. My father served in the army during WW2 and attended annual reunions with his Company, so I was exposed to it from a young age. Also, I was interested generally in history, but Germany, the Nazis and WW2 held a real fascination for me. Many of the books (including comics) had a WW2 overtone, as did many of the movies I went to see. I read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich as a 16 year old.

    As I grew older, my interest in history widened and I took an MA in history. Now, my interest is in discovering more about what my father experienced, since he died many years ago, and I can't ask him any more questions. I taught history for 35 years, and I must say I had several students with your kind of interest. Don't let the "grown-ups" discourage you. Read, listen, and learn. This forum is a good place to interact.
     
  5. wtid45

    wtid45 Ace

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    My intrest stems from my Dad, who served in WW2 and really mushroomed from there and I can appreciate how different life could be if the old housepainter had crossed the channel;)
     
  6. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    Because World War 2 is real life-and-death drama. It affected millions if not billions of people and changed the planet forever. It is a huge epic with as many stories as there were participants and every aspect of human nature, good or bad, is in it: genius, folly, horror and brutality, good and evil, dedication, heroism, sacrifice, courage. And because of that i have no doubt People will still be studying it in a hundred years.
     
  7. STURMTRUPPEN

    STURMTRUPPEN Member

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    my favourite ww2 subjects are
    1.d-day
    2.the italian campaign
    3.the battle of the bulge
    4.the battle of britain
    5.the battle for germany
    6.monte cassino
    7.the battle of midway
    8.bomber command
    9.the luftwaffe
    10.the panzer truppen
    10.
     
  8. SOAR21

    SOAR21 Member

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    Hmm...ok...so far my least dumb response is

    So we don't forget.

    However, to a non-WW2 enthusiast, and, the mostly shallow thoughts of many teenagers, they have already forgotten. And so the following question. "Forget what?"
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I forgot.
     
  10. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Member

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    Grew up surrounded by veterans, from family, to teachers, doctors, the milkman, etc, a whole nation of heroes. Hard not to be impressed really.

    Also grew up in the area my family lived in before and during, so know where the shelters were, which bits got bombed just, what the weather was like when the boats left for Dunkerque, etc, from everyday living.

    It's still with us as well, might be a good 64 years since it finished but the effects are alive and well.
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Unfortunately, it's the way of the world. Living in the US, most of our knowledge of WW2 is stored in the heads of veterans. We don't have any first hand evidence of the destructive power of the war. If my father was any example, they are reluctant to talk much about it, except in certain circumstances. As they age and die, we are left with those, like us, who choose to consciously remember their service. Yes, we owe those veterans respect and honor, but the human condition is such that their exploits will soon pass from general knowledge to that of dry history. I taught middle school history for 35 years, and I can tell you that, to them, Viet Nam, and even the first Iraq war have as much immediacy as the War of 1812.

    If you are a teen who is interested in the conflict, then there is hope that the next generation will have at least some tangible link to events that occurred 65-70 years ago. I hope your interest grows and continues and that you come across others like you to aid in your quest.

    Bon chance.
     
  12. acker

    acker Member

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    This is a difficult question to answer. Aside from the obvious that it was a big war that affected 20-21st century history, I guess I can try...

    For me, WWII can be seen between two extremes; statistics, and emotion. "Statistics" are cold, hard facts: 500,000 dead in a battle, 1,000,000 homeless after a firebombing raid, 30,000 tanks per month, 12 million murdered...all of those things fall under this extreme. "Statistics" is important because it allows us to plan ahead in the future, learn from their failings, and prevent mistakes before they happen (if that's possible at all, I'm convinced that it's nigh-impossible). They also help us understand why things happen the way they do.

    Emotion refers to the human side of the war. 500,000 may have died in a battle, but each one of those 500,000 soldiers was a human, with a father, mother, perhaps even children and siblings. Each one was unique, and has his own story, told or hidden. People actually die in bombing raids in ways that the statistics can never represent, in terrible and gruesome ways. The industrialist who betrayed his government, saved so many, and ultimately lost everything except for the people he saved. The captain who shot his own men, survived the war, and was never charged for a crime. The numerous men who served a "bad person", protected terrible regimes hell-bent on slaughter...all in the name of their country. The concentration camp system alone is a goldmine for searching for the essence of "humanity". And interpreting who we are and what we can be, as homo sapiens sapiens, is arguably just as important as looking for historical trends.

    WWII is as much a study of the human condition as it is a study of history. And we'd better remember it.
     
  13. brocher

    brocher recruit

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    I'm a general history fan, like some people like music or others playing guitar (or whatever your hobby is).

    For me WW2 is fascinating due to its nearness (both my grandfathers served, one in RN other in RAF, and I constantly quizzed them :) ), the reverbations it had for decades to come and I think it was a fascinating war in that it was a fairly equal blend of technology and blood & guts.

    WW1 was comparable in size but was just a slaughterhouse with no real revolution in tactics until the final year. In later wars it's all about technology but in WW2 the guy pushing the button had as much an influence on events as the event that was caused by pushing it, be it in submarines, tanks, planes.

    Makes for some nice memoirs all the way from a private soldier all the way up through the ranks to Prime Minister of Britain.
     
  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I have my WWII interests-thanks to my Mom. It started about when I was about 6. I got further interested in it when I first saw The Longest Day-as well as episodes of COMBAT. As a young kid, I played with my fair share of toy Soldiers.

    Then came more movies, books, TV shows, knowing various Veterans-then Sergeant Rock and other comicbooks-to collecting militaria. My interest in WWII will never end and in fact-continues to grow.
     
  15. skywalker

    skywalker Member

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    Has anyone ever been accused of having a fascination with Hitler ? I got told that once, an the person pointed at small collection of WWII books. One was about the Waffen-SS an one other was Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor.
     
  16. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I enjoy reading about the strategy with which armies tried to better their adversaries. The complex manoeuvers are intellectually and pyschologically interesting, and WWII is as complex and dangerous as it comes.
     
  17. skywalker

    skywalker Member

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    Its one thing to type it, yet another to say it. Unlike Warhammer or something of that calibre people interested in WWII usually arent nerds (or are they) so discussing WWII strategy probably isnt something you could discuss with friends, well i couldnt.

    You dont have too mention you like reasearching WWII..............if it confuses them, lol.
     
  18. SOAR21

    SOAR21 Member

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    yea...i encounter that too well. How many 15 year-olds get pissed because their history teachers dont know history? It's not me, my teacher really does know nothing about ANY history. We need to import some forum members; i hear a lot of them are teachers.
     

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