Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century (2015) by Alistair Home
Compelling details of various wars that I never learned in school. Horrifying numbers of dead. Fickle weather has an amazing impact on so much. I would quote some details but had to return to library because another user had put a hold on it.
What I want to know though is where did all the cloth for the hundreds of thousands of uniforms come from? who did the sewing? How did it come to be designed? Who made all the many many banners for the Nazi flags on every building and so on. Plus providing pictures of Hitler for people to profess their reverence.
Recently, along with my history theme reading on the wars, I also saw the original footage on BookTV that was played at the Nuremberg trials of what the armies found after they And though I knew the name of several of the concentration camps but saw a chart and there were many many more. The thing is that was a lot of construction, those places were huge. And so you cannot tell me that the people in the nearby areas didn’t ask what all the construction was for. In fact, since the film of the victims shows them starving to death and skeletal, I don’t understand why they bothered to build barracks at all. But I think some of the worst part of it was the pure evil of the torture and intentional harm short of killing that guards pursued. One day a guard was a baker and the next day the guy turns into a rapist and sadist? Classic cigarette burning and whipping and setting the dogs on the people for sport. And all the weapons they were developing and the basic principle of do what you are told or die.
Didn’t anyone question what all they were building and why? Why they were amassing armies of many thousands for whom they needed boots and uniforms and weapons? And from this book, I couldn’t quite tell if Stalin had plans to invade Europe Hitler hadn’t started it. Does anyone know?
I suppose it is somewhat stupid to even think or wonder about this stuff since it is history after all. But it does make me think that some aspects of stuff leading up to wars could maybe help preemptively. Except war has irrevocably changed forever. I think it was in this book that it was said that Germans “illegally” wore different uniforms to infiltrate Allied forces. The author seemed to find this disproportionately offensive considering the Germans shot captured soldiers in cold blood.
Alas, in contemporary wars there are no uniforms and no rules of engagement, the very notion of rules against people with a death wish or who are once again told to do something or die.