Sunday, November 11, 2007

[monday, november 11th, 1918] pray for humanity

Armistice Day, Veteran's Day, Remembrance Day

Hawks, backed and abetted by the finance, have always prearranged wars long before the opening salvos.

Nowhere was this more glaringly obvious than in The Great War, a term which already had currency in the corridors of power long before the due date. Even Buchan admitted as much in The Thirty Nine Steps [available online].

The Schieffen Plan

For complicated reasons you can read yourselves, the Germans were long harbouring a desire to punish France and for what? Because France had punished them for a wrong which they had perpetrated on France and so on.

This is the eternal cycle of war so beloved of two classes – the aristocracy and the old money of Europe.

Some speculate that if Helmuth von Moltke the Younger has not lost his nerve, Germany might have shortened the war but I think not. Historians almost always fail to take into account the invisible factor in all public life – the Old Finance.

So the long drawn out and extremely lucrative conflict and devastation of the common man was very much anticipated.

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger

French Plan XVII

It is erroneous to suppose that the French were the poor victims in this.

Almost immediately following her defeat by Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, together with the humiliating annexation by the newly unified Germany of the coal-rich territories of Alsace and Lorraine, the French government and military alike were united in thirsting for revenge.

To this end the French devised a strategy for a vengeful war upon Germany, Plan XVII, whose chief aim was the defeat of Germany and the restoration of Alsace and Lorraine. The plan was fatally flawed, and relied to an untenable extent upon the "élan" which was believed to form an integral part of the French army - an irresistible force that would sweep over its enemies.

Like Caesar's Soothsayer

It wasn't that no one spoke out:

A few dissident intellectuals in Europe had been trying to warn their nations about how different a war among the great industrial powers of Europe would be from wars of the previous century.

This has always been the way and even now the kudos of this very blog has suffered and jokes are made about the “conspiracy theorist” proprietor - why? Because this blog tries to warn the sphere of the impending war - Merkel's War – but that's another story.

And so to Compiègne

This photograph was taken in the forest of Compiègne after reaching an agreement for the armistice that ended World War I. This railcar was given to Ferdinand Foch for military use by the manufacturer, Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Foch is second from the right.

I sometimes imagine that meeting in the forest of Compiegne after all the trench warfare, the slaughter and massive dislocation imposed on a bewildered and yet highly patriotic people.

It was 4.30 in the morning of Monday, November 11th in France and perhaps they'd travelled from Paris via Foch's special train, rugged up for the occasion.

Think for a moment what it would have looked like and felt like that morning.

The German delegation crossed the front line in five cars and was escorted for ten hours across the devastated warzone of Northern France (perhaps, they speculated, to focus their minds on the lack of sympathy they could expect[citation needed]). They were then entrained and taken to the secret destination, Foch's railway siding in the forest of Compiègne.

Telegrams were passed to and from the German team:
Matthias Erzberger, a civilian politician;
Count Alfred von Oberndorff, from the Foreign Ministry;
Major General Detlev von Winterfeldt, the army; and
Captain Ernst Vanselow, the navy.

[General Weygand and General von Gruennel are not mentioned in the French document]
... to both the German Army Chief of Staff Paul von Hindenburg in Spa and the hastily assembled civilian government of Friedrich Ebert in Berlin.

Erzberger apparently attempted to take negotiations to the limit of the 72 hours Foch had offered Hindenburg, but an open telegram from Berlin imploring him to sign immediately somewhat undermined his team's credibility.

Ebert was desperate, facing imminent insurrection in many large German cities. Signatures were made between 5:12 AM and 5:20 AM, Paris time.

How it affected some people

Colonel Percy Dobson wrote:
It was hard to believe the war was over. Everything was just the same, tired troops everywhere and cold drizzly winter weather- just the same as if the war were still on.
Stephen Longstreet, in the Canvas Falcons (1970), wrote:
On that November 11, 1918, morning, another flier, Capitaine Jacques Leps, commander of the French 18th Squadron, sat in his Spad. He was about to take off with his fliers and their planes, all marked with the insignia of a leaping hare chased by a greyhound. The engines were turning over, the props spinning silver.

It was time to get into the air, to escort a major bombing raid on Metz. As Leps raised his arm to signal the take-off, someone came running from the airdrome's communication room, running agitatedly, arms waving.

"La guerre!! C'est finie, la guerre!"

Jaques Leps took in the heart-bursting news. He switched off the Spad's engine. The engines of the rest of his fliers went silent, one by one, as the cry "C'est finie, la guerre!" spread throughout the field. Capitaine Leps unfastened his safety belt and slowly got out of his cockpit.

At 11:00 a.m. this day, we put down whatever we're doing and remember long-suffering humanity who have had to endure these things and especially the brave men and women who gave their lives to defend their homes and families from totally unnecessary and indefensible aggression.

Lovely piece on the issue from the Domestik Goddess who writes of singer-songwriter Terry Kelly, who witnessed an act of philistinism:
On the stroke of 11:00, all the store fell silent.

All, that is, except for one man, who was accompanied by his little daughter. Oblivious of the example he was setting for the child, the man continued to try to talk to the sales clerk all through the respectful silence.

Terry Kelly did what artists have always done, in the grip of the strongest emotions — he channelled his anger into his music.
I have a copy of the Last Post and will play it during that time. What I love about this day is that it brings all of us together - American, Canadian, Britain, Commonwealth and many others.


Do not forget the modern German either - he is as much against this madness as any of us. He is not to be excluded from this remembrance day. Many of the British recognize this new reality and it seems to me to be a good step towards the ultimate exclusion of war as a means of resolving disputes.

Late update - check Juliet's post - it really brings it home. Also, a series from Jams, of which this is the last.


  1. I agree with your last point regarding modern Germans. Whilst they can never be proud of the Nazis, they should always remember and respect the 'ordinary' brave soldiers who faced the horror that is war. Two massive tragedies for everyone concerned.

  2. Nice post James.

    Would you believe I never studied history formally at school, and you just filled a (self taught) gap. Thanks.

    Because this blog tries to warn the sphere of the impending war - Merkel's War – but that's another story.

    Merkel (or Germany)is part of it James, for the moment, but this is so BIG, I think it involves the majority of the planet.

    The why?, - I can't comprehend at the moment, but it involves Peak Oil, Peak Food, Desertification, population segregation, but maybe not on ethnic lines, and a few more issues on which the threads are just forming.

    Oh well.

    Have a restful Sunday.

  3. Post is coming up, hopefully tomorrow - there's quite a backlog of material just now.

  4. "What I love about this day is that it brings all of us together - American, Canadian, Britain, Commonwealth and many others."

    Yes, indeed -- just as a tragedy can work magic to bring an estranged family back together.

    November 11 is a sad day, but also one of hope as long as it continues to be observed, and to provoke thought and discussion. Thank you for this.

  5. James, in a past blog you referred to a comment made on your blog referring to a Hansard question on MOD expenditure on Common Purpose courses.

    Everyone missed the point.
    The MP, and presumably parliament, and you.

    There was precious little expenditure by the Foreign Office on Common Purpose courses, because there will be no Foreign Office for the UK when the EU takes over.

    Similarly there will be no MOD when the EU takes over. It will be a EU defence force.

    The State of the Art Maritime vessels we are now building will be EU, as will ALL the armed forces, (as will North Sea Gas, and Oil, etc). That's why the minister is part time, doubling up with another department, that similarly will be redundant. (oops, they gave the game away)



  6. Further to the previous post.
    You should ask why Assistant Chief Constable Irwin Turbitt, is lecturing RAF seniors about 3 years handling of protestant and catholic crowd control in Drumcree. (page 64)

    Look in the index, then tab down to the page,

    But you should read the chapter before that, written by prof Benington, titled Public Value and Adaptive Leadership. It stinks with Common Purpose speak, "leadership beyond authority", etc.

    And the title of the document does not inspire confidence.
    Air force Leadership Beyond Command

    So take a look at Beningtons Bios

    Now THAT worries me even more!

    So go back to the index, find the names of the various profs, and speakers, and google them.

    RAF? Drumcree crowd control? Profs specializing in multi-level governance and inter-organizational networking, political leadership and strategic management of change in the public service sector?

    Now where have we heard all that before?

  7. Remember peace in NI had to be delivered before NI could be declared a region.

  8. And another problem is solved.
    The MOD is screwing with the services injuries compo, and living accommodation, and poor NHS treatment, and all the rest of it, so they'll re-swear allegiance to the EU instead of the Crown.
    That's why Gordon is so f**king mean with them, in a short time, they'll be nothing to do with the UK, they will be centrally budgeted from Brussels.
    Get used to the crap-house, fellas.

  9. I read in John Beningtons page that "John has been an academic adviser to the UK Minister of State for Local Government, and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and is a member of DETR's national steering committee for Best Value programme; and Cabinet Office's national steering committee for Better Government for Older People programme."

    (I also note that they can't spell committee :) )

    He's therefor fully aware of the future role of the personnel he is speaking to, as they must also be.
    Just how deep does this conspiracy go?

    I think we can rule out the armed forces, or at least the RAF, as being any aid in the correction of this monstrous treason.

    We can also assume that the recent grandstanding for more military expenditure by the forces Brass, was just that.
    They Know and are preparing.

  10. Another excellent, thoughtful and informative post on this day, James.

    Who is making jokes about your blog? I'll set Simi on them!

  11. Another good post James and I've added a link here too, to make it complete.
    We are all united today, even the Germans.
    I have a German friend who at age 17, on his first day in combat, was captured by the Americans and spent the rest of the war on a farm in the USA. For which he is very grateful and how could we blame him for it?

  12. Time to read the above - that's what I need - minutes in the day. Shall be done.

    Welshcakes - thanks.