Did you know that inciting revolution was a major strategy in World War I?

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Jun 20 in Politics & Government ✌ by Virginia (7,565 points)

Germany ACTIVELY supported/encouraged the Bolsheviks in Russia. And so the Russian Revolution succeeded, and then Germany was able to transfer 44 battalions to the Western Front - which meant they had more troops than the Allies, and had another chance to win WWI...! 

(I think what happened is that the USA entered WWI around then...swung the advantage back to the Allies.)

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Here is the discouraging part (at least if you are looking at capitalism searching a way forward): NOBODY treated their soldiers/workers well just because it was the right thing to do..

1. England's David Lloyd George said, "If you are certain the workers are going to strike, then give concessions." And that is how the UK kept the British war production going.

2. France had workers complaining they were struggling/starving while the upper class got wealthy; plus the French soldiers put on something between a mutiny and a strike, because of really bad generalship and huge casualties. So France got a new general, shot a token 49 strikers/mutineers, and paraded the rest of the soldiers past the dead bodies. Psychology + better treatment, kept France fighting.

3. Italy, terrible brutal general. But they kept the general WAY too long...and the soldiers simply surrendered to Germany en masse! Swarmed over to Irwin Rommel of WWII fame (very young then), carried him on their shoulders shouting "Viva Germania!" 300,000 surrendered, another 300,000 just left for home - Italy lost half its fighting force before they finally fired that rotten general.

NOBODY did the right thing for the hoi polloi without desertion/strikes/revolt by the masses - just like nobody is trying to do the right thing by the working/middle classes here in the USA now...I'm worried...history does not bode well for us (USA) to get through this w/o mass uprising....can you find hope?

3 Answers

Rooster Jun 20

Yes and many of those same things happened in WW2 and subsequent wars also. There will always be these kind of things happening while there is unrest in a country. 

In WW1, we were dealing mostly with empires and there will always be unrest. I've read some about strikes here during WW2 but Roosevelt easily handled them. Unfortunately, we really don't have anyone now who can bring the country back together by ANY means. But I also don't think there will be a massive uprising either.

You're talking here about Europeans and Russians here and not Americans as I believe we are a different and proud breed.

In war or peacetime, the better you treat the armed forces, the less trouble you will have. Remember Vietnam?

Virginia Rooster Jun 20

Rooster, it is an interesting point that we USA are a different breed...and as i learn more with information like this YouTube video, the more I admire FDR. The right person for the right time...

Seeing all this about the effectiveness of spies and internal agitators working for hostile governments to bring about revolution, for example they blew up a factory or something on an island off East Coast USA in WWI...do you see Manzanar and the WWII "relocation" camps for Japanese citizens as at least understandable? I did ask my parents about that, and they explained to me the confidence in US government at that time, that people generally accepted the relocation as a necessary step?

I am NOt supporting the program, as you realize I am certain, and I am glad Reagan made the apology...but now I am wondering if it was at least understandable? 

Rooster Rooster Jun 21

@Virginia: I think it was understandable at the time with the extreme paranoia after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. But after a year or so? They should have been all released. But the paranoia in the government kept them there, mostly the FBI. Because it was a "sneak" attack I think they believed that all Japanese were sneaky and would sabotage things in the name of Japan. Sad thing but inevitable after Pearl Harbor.

Virginia Rooster Jun 22

ty Rooster, your insights helpful as usual.

Kninjanin Jun 20

It is true that Germany supported Bolsheviks. In March 1918, Russia signed the Brest Litovsk treaty and let Germany to occupy Poland, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine. 

Virginia Kninjanin Jun 20

Thank you Kninjanin, I am learning indeed, and did not know the Russian Revolution was SO helpful to Germany.

TheOtherTink Jun 20

Yes, I did know about it, and yes, the Establishments rarely care about the hoi polloi.

One thing that was different in those days, however, is that the uppercrust did send their sons into battle, unlike today, for the most part. And casualties among line officers in WW1 were generally quite a bit higher than among enlisted men.

Tink, I saw that in an historical video; the Prussian nobility custom was that the first-born son takes all, and the younger sons took military careers....many many many were killed.

Yes, primogeniture was to insure that landed estates would not be broken up into smaller and smaller pieces with each passing generation.  I think some of the later-born sons became clergymen or government officials too.

Received! I recall mention of one noble family that was quite decimated, their officer sons so many of them killed...

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