Tag Archives: First World War

State Sponsored Kidnapping: Britain, Israel and the USA

1 Britain: Conscientious Objectors1 The British army was a volunteer force in 1914 until the war lost its popularity. The actuality of slaughter reduced the numbers of men volunteering. The government passed the Military Service Act in January 1916 to … Continue reading

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Bertrand Russell in Brixton prison, 1918

For the first two months of his sentence, life at Brixton prison suited Russell perfectly. Freed from the demands of both political campaigning and romantic attachments,* he was able to live precisely the kind of cloistered, contemplative life he craved. … Continue reading

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Why Can’t Babies Vote? Insights from the Sorites Paradox

The 1918 Representation of the People Act swept away gender and property as qualifications for the franchise, leaving age as the sole criterion. Although there’s been tinkering with the actual age at which British citizens can vote, the principle remains … Continue reading

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The price of naivety: Verdun 1916

The Bismarckian precept that two-front wars are disastrous shaped his foreign policy. He created a gigantic balance-of-power, which kept European peace from the formation of Germany in 1871 until 1914. Needless to relate 43 years of peace wasn’t a blessing … Continue reading

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Field Marshal Douglas Haig’s Glittering Prizes

Douglas Haig was adored by the British after he’d defeated Germany in 1918. Traditionally returning military heroes were garlanded with honours and wealth and Haig was no exception. Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, had doubts about the stellar qualities of … Continue reading

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The importance of the battle of Mukden (1905)

The carnage of the first world war wasn’t inevitable. The horrendous losses suffered could have been avoided by high commands sensitive to the evolution of warfare techniques. Their ‘war games’ were a hapless iteration of previous obsolete military experiences. Nine … Continue reading

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The women of Paris during the battle of Verdun 1916*

As if by the germination of a tiny quantity of yeast, apparently of spontaneous generation, young women now went about all day with tall cylindrical turbans on their heads, as a contemporary of Mme Tallien’s might have done, and from … Continue reading

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