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Thread: 13 Myth Busting Facts About American History

  1. #31
    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post
    A friend of mine has an exchange student from Russia staying at their house. Apparently she cried in class one day at the high school she is attending here because the US view of WWII focused so much on the US as the rescuer and pretty much ignored the fact that so much of WWII was fought on the Russian front. She said that her grandparents had lost so many of their contemporaries--especially young men--to the war and it pained her not to hear it acknowledged.

    I know our schools do a better job teaching this time period than when I grew up, but there is still a very skewed view in the US. I remember spending a summer in England around 1978 and looking at the bombed out buildings and lots in London that were still there and thinking, Jesus, this is not the war my Navy vet dad always told me about.

    Honestly, we are a fairly clueless nation in so many ways.
    We lost less men in WW2 compared to the Soviet Union and Europe too. Slightly more than the UK in terms of numbers, but way less when you consider total population.
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  2. #32
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    ^^ I think that the word you're looking for is "percentage". Lol!
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    ^^ I think that the word you're looking for is "percentage". Lol!
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  4. #34
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    The Sovs battle abilities are sometimes bit overstated as well. Take the battle of Raate Road against the Finns. 10,000 Finns faced 25,000 Sovs. Casualties for the USSR were close to 10,000, the Finns less than 500. The whole Suomussalmi campaign resulted in the greatly superior in numbers Sov forces getting their asses handed to them by the Finns.

    Again, WW2 was a cumulative victory for the Allies. Each ally played their part.
    Quote Originally Posted by olivia View Post
    "America provided the money, Britain provided the time and Russia provided the bodies."

    Can't remember where I read that.

    anyway, my brother's high school students refuse to admit that the USSR was ever an ally of the USA until he makes it a test essay. It's so ingrained in our culture that Russia was The Enemy, that sometimes a student will jump up and call him a commie for teaching the facts.

    Well it was the Soviet Union who really ripped the guts out of the German Army-and they payed heavily for it-but again, they had no choice as it was a battle for survival.

    Britain, and in a greater sense, the US, did play vital roles however. Especially the US with providing war materials. Even Stalin acknowledged the importance of American manufacturing.

    The US was did win the Pacific theatre of the War, the Russian won the European theatre, and they really are the ones who defeated the Germans on the Eastern front, basically winning the war and contributing the most. People in the US do not like to admit this.
    Quote Originally Posted by visitor42 View Post
    Bull. Absolute bull.

    In FDR's first four years, GDP grew at a very high rate (nearly 10% a year) and unemployment went down by a full ten percentage points (25% to 14%).
    I agree, but the true part is that the war is the thing that brought the economy completely out of the Depression. But to say FDR did not help substantially in the meantime, and bring about significant improvement in conditions, is false.

    And as I understand it, the real reason for the Depression was that during the twenties, people began buying heavily on credit for the first time, but salaries were not rising as they should have been and eventually the buy now, pay later thing caught up with itself, and as people cut down new purchases as the bills started coming due, inventories built up, and people began being laid off. Lay off were really climbing before the Wall Street crash even, in 1929.

    It then just went in a downward spiral after that.

  5. #35
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    In terms of WWII lifting the United States out of the Depression, I think it's kind of a canard:

    The war cost a huge amount of money for the U.S., and it was running out of money before the completion of the Pacific campaign. Which is why so many soldiers and celebrities were touring the country selling war bonds. I guess you could argue that gearing up for the war raised our industrial capacity, but someone had to pay for it, and the biggest customer was the United States government. And conservatives love to complain about the United States spending lots of money.

  6. #36
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    In terms of WWII lifting the United States out of the Depression, I think it's kind of a canard:

    The war cost a huge amount of money for the U.S., and it was running out of money before the completion of the Pacific campaign. Which is why so many soldiers and celebrities were touring the country selling war bonds. I guess you could argue that gearing up for the war raised our industrial capacity, but someone had to pay for it, and the biggest customer was the United States government. And conservatives love to complain about the United States spending lots of money.
    The US came out of the war a huge winner. I think the US and to a lesser extent Argentina were the big financial winners of the war. Also incomes skyrocketed during the war..doubling or even tripling. People had money to spend, and after the war, they had products to buy. And most other manufacturing competitors were not in a good place to provide products as they were recovering from their war damage.

  7. #37
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    The US came out of the war a huge winner. I think the US and to a lesser extent Argentina were the big financial winners of the war. Also incomes skyrocketed during the war..doubling or even tripling. People had money to spend, and after the war, they had products to buy. And most other manufacturing competitors were not in a good place to provide products as they were recovering from their war damage.
    Do you, mean that after the devastation of the war, the U.S., for a crucial period, was the last man standing (or one of them), industrially?

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Do you, mean that after the devastation of the war, the U.S., for a crucial period, was the last man standing (or one of them), industrially?

    Well in a way. Around 1950 the US accounted for around half of the world's manufacturing.

    I remember seeing a list of the financial 'winners and losers' of the war, and the biggest 'winners' were the US followed by Argentina. And the US was lifted out of the Depression by the war. After the war there was a real fear for a while among some that it would come back.

    During the war, unemployment was almost negligible however, and incomes did rise dramatically during the war. So it was all not postwar, but during the war.

    Average family income:

    Washington DC: 1938 $2,227.00 ........ 1942 $5316.00
    Hartford Conn. 1938 $2,207.00....... 1942 $5,208.00
    NYC 1938 $2,760.00...... 1942 $4,044.00


    Money was being made, but goods were not as available as the war economy came first.

    After the war, there was pent up demand, and money to spend, in a way.

  9. #39
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yes, the war was a huge economic boon for the US. that's hardly a secret. it was a 'boom' in every way: baby boom, economy boom, industry boom, etc, etc...
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Damn! We need another war!!

    Oh wait - that didn't work this time...
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  11. #41
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    yes, the war was a huge economic boon for the US. that's hardly a secret. it was a 'boom' in every way: baby boom, economy boom, industry boom, etc, etc...
    Yeah, I just do not think that people(in the US) realize how relatively fortunate the US was in the war...we lost what? half a million soldiers and a negligible number of civilians, had a complete infrastructure, and our biggest contribution ( relative to other nations anyway) was to gear up our industry.

    I think there is a great lack of understanding of what the Soviet Union in particular accomplished, and suffered, in the war, in the US.

    All of the superlative can be applied to the Soviet Union.

    Kursk(greatest tank battle)
    Stalingrad(most deaths in a single battle)
    Leningrad(most civilian deaths from war in any city in the history of the World.)

    Also we are talking about what got the US out of the depression/OP and all...It was not related really to a Presidency(although FDR helped things alot). It was the war.

  12. #42
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Probably almost as many deaths as deaths as the de-kulakization of the Ukraine and the mass resettlement of Latvians in Siberia. The Soviets really knew how to mismanage personnel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Probably almost as many deaths as deaths as the de-kulakization of the Ukraine and the mass resettlement of Latvians in Siberia. The Soviets really knew how to mismanage personnel.
    Yeah, they basically turned the Ukraine into a giant penal colony..estimated starvation deaths around 5 million.

    If you look at the costs of the First World War, the wars of the Russian Revolution, the collectivization of the 20's, the purges of the 30's, the second World War, the aftermath of the war(famine, purges, relocations, stifling out independence movements in places like the Ukraine), then the only other nation on Earth with a similar toll of death and disaster is China.

  14. #44
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    Yeah, they basically turned the Ukraine into a giant penal colony..estimated starvation deaths around 5 million.

    If you look at the costs of the First World War, the wars of the Russian Revolution, the collectivization of the 20's, the purges of the 30's, the second World War, the aftermath of the war(famine, purges, relocations, stifling out independence movements in places like the Ukraine), then the only other nation on Earth with a similar toll of death and disaster is China.
    And here's the other thing - Stalin had a secret agreement with Hitler for spheres of influence in Europe. An agreement that Hitler never intended to keep. So, Stalin turned his attention to the "great purge/terror", which in part, eliminated most of the Soviet's military command -- especially in the Army, if I recall correctly.

    So, Stalin, because he trusted Hitler more than his own military staff, was unwittingly complicit in the Soviets having their asses handed to them in the initial phases of the war (Barbarossa and on).

    I feel VERY sorry for the Soviet people, but Stalin, for all his bleating, brought this crap on himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    And here's the other thing - Stalin had a secret agreement with Hitler for spheres of influence in Europe. An agreement that Hitler never intended to keep. So, Stalin turned his attention to the "great purge/terror", which in part, eliminated most of the Soviet's military command -- especially in the Army, if I recall correctly.

    So, Stalin, because he trusted Hitler more than his own military staff, was unwittingly complicit in the Soviets having their asses handed to them in the initial phases of the war (Barbarossa and on).

    I feel VERY sorry for the Soviet people, but Stalin, for all his bleating, brought this crap on himself.
    Yeah just look at Poland and how Hitler and Stalin initially carved it all up. And yes, he basically cut the head off of the Soviet military.

    I think most Americans have no idea of what happened on the Eastern Front, and how the Russians really did defeat the Germans. D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge are nothing compared to what happened on the Eastern Front.

    More civilians died from a single city(Warsaw, 650,000 people (about half of it's prewar population) than the US lost of all people (military and civilian) in the whole war.

    I doubt very many Americans currently would know this.

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