Monday, November 28, 2011

The Famous Wars

The Battle of Britain book sent to me by Sir Earl Doriman, former engineering faculty who now lived with his family in Manchester, England. Thank you sir Earl!

Towards the end of my high school years, I thought of taking up International Studies (IS) in college because I wanted to study the history and culture of other nations/continents, well particularly Europe, but it was not materialized because none of the universities in Mindanao offered IS back in the 90s, so I settled with a business course.

But my longing to study other culture grew everyday, so when I entered college, whenever I had a vacant hour, I would go to the library and read books about Europe, the continent's glorious past, the wars, the monarchy and everything about the royalty's amusing lifestyle. Later, this fascination became a habit.

Okay, so lately, despite tons of case assignments and class reports in the graduate school (where I currently enrolled 12 units), I still have enough time to read books and news about Europe, well I cannot simply put off the habit I grew up for the past decades of my life :-D

WARS

I am greatly fascinated with royalty and wars I don't know why, hehehe. I read the complicated history of the Hundred Years of War and War of the Roses. Hundred Years of War lasted 116 years and despite its very long and intricate background, I had read it extensively, primarily because the monarchy was involved. It was a war fought only by two countries: England and France, and was initiated by English King, Edward III, and did not effectively close until the reign of King Henry VI of England. War of the Roses was a civil war in England and was ignited because of the succession dispute between the two warring cousins--York and Lancaster-- following the deposition of King Richard II.

I also read several books about World War I and World War II. Though Cold War, Crimean War, Carlist Wars and Thirty Years War stories are equally interesting, I only read few details about it. The first Word War interests me most, because Europe during these period was mostly ruled by monarchs. The conclusion of World War I also marked the end of the supremacy of the Great Powers. The once imperial houses of Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary eventually defeated, dismantled and ceased to exist and the European map was largely redrawn.

The birth of the Second World War, many historians claimed, was largely attributed to the Treaty of Versailles which brought Germany to the negotiating table during World War I. World War II was the most horrible. Launching crimes of any kind, if you were a man during that period unfit to live based on Hitler's definition of prosperity then you were only worth of a bullet or a labor exhaustion and worst, a sojourn to a gas chamber. Hitler enjoyed the height of his career during this period contemplating diabolic act. He was largely demoralized when his Operation Sea Lion (a military operation he devised to invade Great Britain), was never carried out. 

In my own point of view, Operation Sea Lion and Schlieffen Plan (a military strategy implemented by German armed forces during World War I to allow Germany to fight in a two-front war with an assurance of victory), were almost the same in nature, both were carefully planned but were never successful.

Now, recently, I read about the death (due to colon cancer) of Lana Peters formerly known as Svetlana Stalin, the only daughter of another terrible political leader, Joseph Stalin of Russia, the one who initiated the creation of the Soviet Union forging Cold War with the United States in later years. My interest to dig more about European history and culture and the background of wars ignited again. In her past interviews, Lana Peters repeatedly said that she was uncomfortable and disagreed with her father's extremely dreadful political policies that she left Russia and moved to the United States. She also described her father as a simple but rude and cruel, paranoid man. 

And my most surprising discovery came from one reader who commented that Joseph Stalin indeed pushed one of his two sons to death. Lana's brother, Jacob, was captured by the Nazi during World War II and put to a concentration camp in Germany, Stalin did nothing to get his son back, he refused to negotiate with Hitler and the Nazi generals and let his son die in the concentration camp. What a brutal man!


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