Bush Lawyer, that's me!
I'm going to say that in the modern era, the greatest foe of Britain's armed forces has to be the MoD. Some of their decisions over the past 70 years could surely only have come about as a result of treason...
I've noticed that MP.net's tectonic plates often shift fairly quickly . But to get Brazil re-aligned with Nigeria:
Originally Posted by TheKiwi
-IMO, it's difficult to say; depends on whether you're using a microscope or a telescope. On different timescales, the Great Enemy can also be seen as the making of the country. One could argue that the Caesars were a disaster for Britain's Celtic civilization, but their rule also shaped it into a cohesive political body for the first time in its known history (the lack of which was probably one of the primary reasons why the Celts were defeated in the first place). One could say something similar for William the Conqueror in introducing a truly effective centralized administration, and etc. Napoleon, while one of history's great military geniuses, never truly threatened Britain's national integrity, IMO (the lack of the required naval dominance), and his defeat created the circumstances for Britain's zenith of influence, the period when the sun, proverbially and literally, never set on at least some part of its dominion.
-With that caveat, my nomination for Britain's greatest foe in modern history is an obvious two-punch combination: the last Kaiser Wilhelm and Adolf Hitler. WWI drained Britain so thoroughly of men and morale, that the Empire never fully recovered. It was the beginning of the end of that idea. The fight against Hitler finished the job, although he was eventually defeated. I would even argue that, in the last thousand years, Britain was never so close to being successfully conquered as in the early days of WWII, while America dithered.
This is why, I think, people particularly enjoy "What If" exercises for that period. What if advocates for giving a U-Boat strategy pride of place had won the argument? What if the miracle at Dunkirk had been a disaster? What if the Luftwaffe's choices in the Battle of Britain had been better considered? What if the priorities had not shifted to creating a wholly new Eastern front and had remained squarely on Britain and Sea Lion? The reason, it seems to me, that these scenarios give such frisson is that they were so clearly matters of contingency; it's not as if Germany did not have the resources to carry them off. These were all purely mistakes of choice, the reversal of any one of which might have spelled surrender by Britain. Rommel and North Africa were a relative side-show by comparison; even defeat in that campaign, IMO, was something that Britain could have survived.
And finally, and not least, if one considers the Britain that might have emerged after a Nazi conquest, it is difficult to see what benefits might have accrued in any foreseeable time-frame. All I can see are very dark negatives.
The body blow (the Kaiser), followed by the knockout right hook (Hitler) had Britain down on the canvas for the count, and if Ladbrokes had been taking odds at that point, very few (except, to his eternal credit, Churchill) would have been takers. I've sometimes thought that what then ensued can only be compared to the second Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney fight, where Dempsey stupefyingly failed to immediately go to his corner to allow the count to begin, giving Tunney precious time to recover and get up. The fight went the distance, Tunney gaining momentum in the last rounds, and he won on points.
It was an unforeseeably, a miraculously, close-run thing, a very close-run thing indeed.
A little plastered
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Moi? Anti-French? My grandfather lost an eye in WWI in France and my father was KIA in Normandy. My twin brother is married to a beautiful lady from France and my nephews hold dual citizenship, and all speak the language. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
Originally Posted by mas-36
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][*******#0000ff][SIZE=5]Let's get something straight about "who was Britain's greatest military opponent." It was not DeGrasse or the French military of 1780. [/SIZE][/COLOR][*******#000000]Take George Washington out of the picture, the American Revolution would likely have failed. Take French “aid” out of the picture, and the American Revolution still would have succeeded. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Let’s begin with your apparent theses – which seems to be … [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[*******#000000][FONT=Symbol][SIZE=3]·[/SIZE] [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]George Washington was not Britain’s greatest military opponent, because..."
[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][*******#000000][FONT=Symbol][SIZE=3]·[/SIZE] [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]France was responsible for the success of the American Revolution and George Washington and his army and leadership were just a tool of French policy and supplies..."
[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][*******#000000][FONT=Symbol][SIZE=3]·[/SIZE] [/FONT][SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]The Americans would have been overwhelmed without the decisive and vital French aid.” [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]Regarding “aid,” obliviously, you have (deliberately?) confused PURCHASES with “aid” just to try to bolster your argument. But in your zeal to credit anyone, anything, any country, but Geo. Washington and his Regulars, for the success of the American revolution, you have actually made my point. In that 8 year war, if you think the pittance in supplies, money, etc., quoted by you were decisive, you have amateurs knowledge of finance, and no knowledge of logistics and the huge expenditure of military supplies in a war. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]If one uses your faulty logic, then Great Britain was responsible for the success of the Confederacy maintaining their independence for 4 years … because they sold weapons and supplies to the CSA (uhh… they also sold to the USA). In fact, it is likely that over 95 percent of the total logistic effort needed to field the CSA armies were locally produced in the South, and the supplies PURCHASED overseas from Britain, Austria, etc., were specialty items that supplemented local production. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]The same holds from France’s contribution in the American Revolution. Most of those supplies were bought, and in sum they totaled a very minor percent of the logistics for the war. Even if it is assumed all such supplies were provided free as part of French policy, they were not decisive. To say three or four cannon bought from France and used at Saratoga were decisive, only decisively illustrates your ignorance about military matters, and your anti-American myopia.[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]Your logic is flawed, your accounts of those meager “supplies” (actually mostly purchases), is laughable when viewed in the context of what was needed and used, and your prejudice is obvious. Yes France (and Spain) came into the war (when it was obvious the Americans were winning) turning it into a world-war which enabled and speeded the end, and yes France provided important help, mostly the providential aid from De Grasse et. al. as part of their world-war.
But was French "aid" so decisive that it makes George Washington nothing but a stooge?
Er….uh ... let-me-think...ummmm? ... [/FONT][/COLOR][*******#ff0000][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=5]No![/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
Last edited by Jacknola; 04-18-2012 at 04:09 PM.
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]The only fool in this line is the one going against the weight of the eminent British historians who picked General Washington ahead of Napoleon, et. al. But of course, you think you know so much more than those on that panel, don’t you? Unfortunately, you apparently know nothingabout the history of the Revolutionary war, what it took to get to the point that the leaders of France even noticed what was going on. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]You are the one posting insults and calling one of the greatest men of the last 400 years … “Georgie?”…. show some respect. Most of France does, as my recent visit to Normandy proved, despite the occasional anti-American homme … like you. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[FONT=Calibri][*******#000000]Bythe way… the question was “who was the GREATEST…” not “who was the worst…..” as you so inelegantly put it. Perhaps your problem lies in sloppy use of language… which can indicate a sloppy way of thinking.
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]Maybe if you spent a little time in the military or a LOT of time studying military history world-wide, you would be a little more circumspect. Only the blessedly ignorant are truly so arrogant they can positively avow the peculiar position you take, and think they know the truth about everything. You qualify, don’t you?[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
Last edited by Jacknola; 04-19-2012 at 03:03 AM.
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]By the way… your capacity for insults sans-facts, seems not to be limited to great men of history. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]You purposefully managed to insult both my father, who was killed in action in Normandy, and my Grandfather who lost an eye in theArgonne. You also managed to insult every American soldier who liberated France by tagging them as stupid draftees who didn’t know a thing about what they were doing. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]I care less about your rambling, fact-less posts. Someone who makes statements and backs themup with a load of links, without trying to make a case, is hardly a sharptack. I also don’t care about the wad of personal insults aimed at me that comprised most of your previous message. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]But I do care about my father, Grandfather and the AEF, and the American forces who liberated Europe in WWII. I care about their legacy and I don’t much like the disgusting insults you gratuitously hurled at them. That is the reason I am reporting you and your posts. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
Last edited by Jacknola; 04-19-2012 at 03:05 AM.
Not sure about Washington - he never had the ability to invade or destroy the UK nor did he ever threaten its existence.However, Napoleon and Hitler did. Of the two, Napoleon contributed far more to European history in the positive sense, and to the creation of modern Europe. Why they would consider Washington surprises me. The AWI was a war I'm not sure we could have won or sustained given that we two European superpowers against us plus large sections of the US populace. France and Spain were superpowers at that time. Every bit as big as the UK. In terms of manufacturing and manpower they outgunned us, plus we were fighting a war 3000 odd miles away in the days of sail .
I would call Napoleon our greatest foe, second only to ourselves.
Very good post, but if we look at 'threatening existence' of the UK wouldn't the Soviet Union take pride of place with it's nuclear missiles? The political sense of not being DIRECTLY at war is true, but Britain had some form of defence against France and Spain back in the days of old, however there's very little you can do once the Big Man has pushed the red button and your cities are on his list of places to visit. The Soviet Union threatened Britain and much of the planet ideologically and militarily, so by zooming the scope of the topic out I'm surprised they haven't in some way been considered.
Originally Posted by oldsoak
Good post! Following your logic, you consider that Napoleon had the ability to invade or destroy the UK. But more than Hitler?
Originally Posted by oldsoak
Destroying UK ?
Originally Posted by BogT
None of them had the capability
However, Napoleon had more potential to drive UK in an attrition war (economicaly speaking) either on its soil (has not the Spanish-French fleet failed at Trafalgar and previously at Aboukir) and on continental Europe. UK finances were already overstreched with the constant state of war. A chance the Kingdom entered at war with french empire pretty late and on secundary theatres. The UK continental policy, pushing the different coalitions against France was what saved the jewels of the Crown. As a matter of fact, every penny invested in that (from diplomatical actions to lobbies and briberies) was worthy ten time its value in guns/rifles and powder
Last edited by Mordoror; 04-22-2012 at 03:47 PM.
I think they picked him because, he is an enemy so much like themselves. Similar cast, education and breeding. They would like to imagine playing chess or poker with him maybe.
Historians are often romantic in their thinking and it might be that emotion played a part in their decisions. Washington had a great ability to decieve his opponents. In a way this was the beginning of a type of modern warfare. These Historians are well versed in it. They live it and have even newer tricks up their sleeves. Maybe they dream of teaching him a lesson or two. Maybe out Washington Washington. They feel kinship. In a way it was almost like a Civil War for some. And there is little shame in loosing to ones' intellectual equal.
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Understanding the rules and the format might help. Here is the key element of the rules relating to qualifications…
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]“To qualify, each commander had to come from the 17th century onwards – the period covered by the museum's collection – and had to have led an army in the field against the British, thus excluding political enemies, like Adolf Hitler.”
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]George Washington(1732-99) – 45 per cent of the vote in the final round
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]Guided the American rebels to victory over the British in the War of Independence. Often outmanoeuvred by British generals with larger armies, his leadership enabled him to hold together an army of secessionists from 13 different states and keep it in the field –and ultimately prevail – during the protracted struggle.
[SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]Stephen Brumwell, author and specialist on eighteenth century North America, said: "Washington scores highly as an enemy of Britain on three key grounds: the immense scale of damage he inflicts upon Britain's Army and Empire – the most jarring defeat that either endured; his ability to not only provide inspirational battlefield leadership but to work with civilians who were crucial to sustain the war-effort; and the kind of man he was. As British officers conceded, he was aworthy opponent."[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
Thanks, There was a strong belief in honor back then. Major Ferguson, of he British army invented the Ferguson rifle, a breech loader. IIRC, he had the opportunity to shoot Gen. Washington, when the General road near on horse back. Major Ferguson, feeling that it would not be the honorable thing to do, did not take the shot. I think the reference to what I have in bold become more meaningful. A worthy opponent, is not just three words. It is also three words that is probably forgotten to day by many people.
Originally Posted by Jacknola;6142028[SIZE=3
I would ask those Brits who voted for Washington if they knew the significance of the 14th of July. I'd bet you that they would be able to understand the significance of the 4th of July, and not know much about Bastille day.
I'm proudly a Brit, but I do feel that we display a anglo bias. This is not to downplay Washingtons significance btw. I fully understand his iconic status to Americans, just not to us.