1/4 of young Britons think Churchill was a myth

I wonder what they'd say about George Washington.

That's nothing; approximately 1/2 of Americans think appeasement works!

Would be a good idea. I plan to have Logan sit in for me when I am on my honeymoon.

- Legion, taking "keeping it in the family" to a whole new level.

Xbox Live: Fedaykin98


But Robear, if your peers had been asked whether Woodrow Wilson was a real or a fictional figure, wouldn't more than 75% have known the answer?

Honestly, I don't know. My recall is not that good. I'm suspicious that the name sounds fake... lol


That's nothing; approximately 1/2 of Americans think appeasement works!

And the other half doesn't know what the term means, judging by how they sling it about.

Staats wrote:
65% of people taking surveys are willing to put down wrong answers for a laugh, while 56% of people taking surveys are getting paid and recognize that by finishing in 10 minutes their average wage exceeds 15$hr.

Yea, if I were taking the test I would have put the same answer to be a douche.

How can you not study WWII? Britians finest hour is not even covered in their schools, no wonder that country is going downhill so fast

What on earth is there to study beside's WWII and WWI, the completely shaped world politics of today. These wars made America become the worlds police force! It's like the west is forgetting is proud history because it involded a bunch of white guys.

This is a ticket to P&C, but:

  • British schools do teach World War 2, to such an extent that observers tend to criticise them for not teaching anything else.
  • British and indeed European history is so full of events both exalted and deplorable, which shaped the world we live in, that to limit it to two wars, any two wars, is tantamount to lying by omission.
  • The idea that the World Wars, with their combined nine-digit-figure death toll, are part of a "proud history" is... Surprising to me.

NemesisZero wrote:
The idea that the World Wars, with their combined nine-digit-figure death toll, are part of a "proud history" is... Surprising to me.

Not to be uncouth, but anybody in Germany seeing the World Wars as proud moments would do more than surprise me. You may have a different cultural perspective than those living in England.

kilroy0097 wrote:
Should I be happy that stupidity of this level is a world wide phenomenon or should I be extremely frightened for the future of humanity? Kind of makes you think the later and endeavor to find a way off the planet via hitchhiking across the galaxy.

"Phenomena" is the plural form.

Irongut wrote:
Could it have actually been a very thoughtful response that the Winston Churchill we discuss today is actually a man of mythic proportions, compared to the human story of who he was?

I refer you to the varied definitions of "myth." (I ran into a debate about this meaning last week as a pastor tried to explain to young-earthers that it's OK to call the first few chapters of Genesis the "creation myth.")

I think that the British, on the whole, are proud of its actions during the Second World War. The assertion that "they started it" is seen to absolve us, as a side, of any responsibility for any of the bad things that happened during the war.

I make no comment about whether I agree with this or not.

You can see the current GCSE history syllabus here: http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk/gcs... I'd like to point out that WW2 was not on the syllabus when I did this exam 15 years ago, but the causes of the first world war were. The other thing to point out is that history is (or at least was) an optional subject after the age of 13-14.

I'd like to see the actual questions to see what the phrasing is, but if you look at the uktv Gold page about it:
http://uktv.co.uk/gold/stepbystep/ai...
it's clear from the context that they are using the word myth as a synonym for fictional. Whether that was clear from the questions I don't know.

I was amused to hear this story referenced on Coast to Coast AM last night, with plenty of head-shaking and disappointment. Oh, those ignorant Brits. If you've never heard of it, Coast to Coast is this late-night radio show where Americans call in and talk seriously about being abducted by UFOs, or turning into a werewolf, or which crystals you should put in your house to repel ghosts.

Nyles wrote:
I was amused to hear this story referenced on Coast to Coast AM last night, with plenty of head-shaking and disappointment. Oh, those ignorant Brits. If you've never heard of it, Coast to Coast is this late-night radio show where Americans call in and talk seriously about being abducted by UFOs, or turning into a werewolf, or which crystals you should put in your house to repel ghosts.

I used to listen to it on my way to work when I worked for FedEx (VERY early mornings). It was always good for a laugh.

nsmike, have you heard the Gordon Freeman call?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liKV4...

Nyles wrote:
I was amused to hear this story referenced on Coast to Coast AM last night, with plenty of head-shaking and disappointment. Oh, those ignorant Brits. If you've never heard of it, Coast to Coast is this late-night radio show where Americans call in and talk seriously about being abducted by UFOs, or turning into a werewolf, or which crystals you should put in your house to repel ghosts.

Duh. Black tourmaline.

I had not heard that, actually. It's perfect for the Coast to Coast crowd, though.

Now I grew up in a household with two History majors whom still tell me the cover story of how they met as opposed to the truth So it would be fair to say i got a fairly good historical edcuation as well as politics But i think the relivent Quote comes from one of the great Literaty minds in America ,Samuel Clemens Aka Mark Twain :" There are lies ,Damn lies,
and statistics "

wordsmythe wrote:
NemesisZero wrote:
The idea that the World Wars, with their combined nine-digit-figure death toll, are part of a "proud history" is... Surprising to me.

Not to be uncouth, but anybody in Germany seeing the World Wars as proud moments would do more than surprise me. You may have a different cultural perspective than those living in England.

I was very conciously referring to both wars there. World War 1 was an atrocity committed by individuals of several nations, with no especially timid or ferocious role reserved for the German preperators. People wanted that war, on all sides of the border. Any Briton who considered this a proud moment would be as misled as a German who did.

World War 2 is a somewhat different matter, of course. But, you know, I lived in Bruchsal for a while. It's an otherwise unremarkable city that was fire-bombed by British pilots. By chance, there was exactly one building in the city center - a medieval watchtower - left unscathed. I can guarantee that the children who died in those fires were no Nazi mass murderes. I can guarantee that the jews who hid in the city, the people who sheltered them, and those poor stupid bastards who had really never wanted anything but to carry on with their own lives did not deserve to burn alive.
When I did my social service in a psychatry, I met an old woman, a long-time depressive, who told me during a horrible thunderstorm why she never had been afraid of lightning: When she was five years old, a storm meant the bombers wouldn't come.

Those were total wars. If you think you can be proud of them, think again.

(Sorry for the verbosity, but as you might have guessed, I feel rather strongly about this.)

Never forget Dresden. one man's atrocity is another's 'necessary action.'

Nevertheless, NemesisZero, I think that the British people are proud of the second World War, however illogical that might be. Whilst I don't feel at any level qualified to gauge the zeitgeist of the British apart from being a member I think that as a whole they blame bad things by our side on specific people, and only accept common responsibility for the more justifiable things. So they might blame "The Germans" for bombing Coventry, but blame Bomber Harris personally for Dresden. I am guessing that citizens of all countries do this so they have some vestigial level of national pride left.

I must admit that it was a watershed moment for me when I realised that every single historical incident, however simple or black and white it might appear in history lessons, gets fractally messy and grey when you look into it in any kind of detail. Conflicts seem especially morally delineated to me, with heroes, cowards and scumbags perpetrating atrocities on both sides.

DudleySmith wrote:
I must admit that it was a watershed moment for me when I realised that every single historical incident, however simple or black and white it might appear in history lessons, gets fractally messy and grey when you look into it in any kind of detail.

What about the Holocaust? It's hard for me to feel sorry for dead Germans when the German nation started the war and brutally occupied other countries. Yes, the Allies had episodes of cruelty, but they also did an enormous service to the world in destroying Hitler's regime. Britain and the U.S. should be rightly proud of turning back the German onslaught, and if german civilians got hit hard during the war, well, too bad. Blame the Germans for invading other countries and terrorizing the people living in them.

Or apartheid? Slavery?

Grenn wrote:
Or apartheid? Slavery?

We're talking about whether to be proud of winning WW2, not whether we should be proud of slavery. I think we in America are aware today that slavery was a terrible thing and something to be ashamed of. On the other hand, I'm not going to suggest that because there might have been slave revolts in which women and children were killed by angry slaves, that nobody should be proud of getting rid of slavery.

Welcome to P&C!

I don't dispute that it was necessary to fight the Axis in WW2. I actually do think that the firebombings were necessary. Germany's regieme had declared a total war and it's hard not to be dragged to the level of murdering children when the other side has committed every last living soul in its territories to the war effort.

I question two things: That the fulfillment of a grim necessity is a matter to be proud of, and that it is acceptable to judge a nation's people based on the actions of their leaders and their morally worst (or any other arbitrary selection).

Look, there's no two ways about it: The strategies and tactics considered wholly normal during the time of the "Greatest Generation" would be called barbaric today. Pre-emptitively flushing buildings with grenades on the off-chance of an enemy presence? Sure, compared to the atrocities of the Holocaust, it's a drop in the bucket, but the old guy and his grandchild that cowered under the table in that house were not exactly active participants in it.

I am glad that the Third Reich was stopped. But if you need to contrast your actions against those of a fascist regieme to be proud of them, that should tell you something.

NemesisZero wrote:
I question two things: That the fulfillment of a grim necessity is a matter to be proud of, and that it is acceptable to judge a nation's people based on the actions of their leaders and their morally worst (or any other arbitrary selection).

Fulfillment of a grim necessity is something to be proud of. Why wouldn't it be? It's easier to be subjugated than to fight.

As for judging germans as a whole, is it fair to judge the germans who favored the war at the beginning, before it started coming back to haunt them?

I think the more disturbing aspect of the whole British historical amnesia bit is the prevailing orthodoxy among Brits that they somehow "defeated fascism". When you consider the totality of their contribution in defeating Hitler, it's not a whole lot to be proud of. Had it not been for the Stalinists (with or without British help), England's young would be goose stepping today.

Serves me right for being silly enough to use absolutes. "Black and white" was the wrong phrase there, I'm not saying you can't ever call specific actions good or bad, but that it's hard to find governments acting really heroically. How long did it take each the allies to actually stand up to Hitler? They were still trying to find a diplomatic solution well after Poland had been invaded. Ships full of jews were turned away from allied ports and the passengers sent back to die in death camps. I was taught that we allies were white knights, standing up to Nazi tyranny for the good of the world. The fact is, that until we ourselves were threatened, our governments were willing to allow atrocities like the holocaust occur in other countries. I personally believe that the US would have allowed Germany to occupy Britain and slaughter every inhabitant as long as US citizens weren't harmed. I'm not trying to make us out as the bad guys here, I'm just saying that things are a lot messier than soundbites would have us believe.

And I don't think there's ever any excuse for the purposeful targeting of civilians. Were the civilians of Bruchsal or Dresden or Tokyo (or any of the 40 million allied civilian casualties) personally prosecuting the war?

Funkenpants wrote:
Fulfillment of a grim necessity is something to be proud of. Why wouldn't it be? It's easier to be subjugated than to fight.

It may be morally preferrable. That doesn't mean it's an action deserving of high regard.

Funkenpants wrote:
As for judging germans as a whole, is it fair to judge the germans who favored the war at the beginning, before it started coming back to haunt them?

Depends on what that judgement might be. Misled? Stupid? Dangerous? Incapable of self-government? Yes. Evil accomplice to mass murder and deserving to die of starvation, pneumonia, or the other little effects of war? I'd argue against it.
Also, it'd be difficult to gauge the exact size of that group since National Socialism didn't exactly allow for differing opinions.

Paleocon wrote:
I think the more disturbing aspect of the whole British historical amnesia bit is the prevailing orthodoxy among Brits that they somehow "defeated fascism". When you consider the totality of their contribution in defeating Hitler, it's not a whole lot to be proud of. Had it not been for the Stalinists (with or without British help), England's young would be goose stepping today.

Hmm... If you consider only the war, it's true that the Soviet Union's troops (which were not all Stalinists, either) did shoulder the brunt of the force, but if we assume that the idea of facism was not defeated on a battlefield - and the aftermath of WW1 indicates that this would not have been possible - it should be noted that Great Britain was instrumental in the rebuilding of western Germany into a democratic nation.
To achieve this end, the British people were forced to go as far as to ration their own food so as to feed the defeated Axis. Now there is an act of greatness in my book.

DudleySmith wrote:
Serves me right for being silly enough to use absolutes. "Black and white" was the wrong phrase there, I'm not saying you can't ever call specific actions good or bad, but that it's hard to find governments acting really heroically. How long did it take each the allies to actually stand up to Hitler? They were still trying to find a diplomatic solution well after Poland had been invaded. Ships full of jews were turned away from allied ports and the passengers sent back to die in death camps. I was taught that we allies were white knights, standing up to Nazi tyranny for the good of the world. The fact is, that until we ourselves were threatened, our governments were willing to allow atrocities like the holocaust occur in other countries. I personally believe that the US would have allowed Germany to occupy Britain and slaughter every inhabitant as long as US citizens weren't harmed. I'm not trying to make us out as the bad guys here, I'm just saying that things are a lot messier than soundbites would have us believe.

And I don't think there's ever any excuse for the purposeful targeting of civilians. Were the civilians of Bruchsal or Dresden or Tokyo (or any of the 40 million allied civilian casualties) personally prosecuting the war?

Well thats the entire lesson of WWII! This is why America is now Pro-actively destroy's bad people. So we don't have to settle things Diplomaticly while some nutjob is going around arming himself and conducting war! Sure we might get it wrong every now and then but over all we are doing a good job. This also allows other countries to skimp on the military and put more money into other things.

As far as the fire bombings, I believe they are bad.. BUT no one knew about firestorms until they happen. Plus it's not like they had the ability to take just one building out like we have today. It's another lesson learned from WW2.

DudleySmith wrote:
They were still trying to find a diplomatic solution well after Poland had been invaded. . . . I personally believe that the US would have allowed Germany to occupy Britain and slaughter every inhabitant as long as US citizens weren't harmed.

The invasion was on Sept. 1 and Britain and France were in a state of war with Germany by Sept. 3. This was what they had promised to do beforehand. They didn't negotiate a peace by sacrificing Poland as Hitler expected them to do.

Feelings about the war were mixed in the U.S. in 1939-41, but there was a tremendously successful effort by Britain to seek sympathy with government leaders and people here. Churchill's speeches were a part of that, because his attitude towards Germany was so defiant even when things looked bleak for Britain. The U.S. could have stayed out of the European conflict had it wanted to. It was attacked by Japan, not Germany. No American citizens were in danger, and Hitler had no significant means of hitting the North American continent.

(Irongut reflected and resolved to remove his run-on riddled rambling rant)