Having lived for some 5,000 years i’ve seen the ridiculous come and go, and i’m here to tell you that nothing is stupider than wars!
Young men are coerced into sacrificing their lives for some ‘greater good’ that they’ll never see, by people who have absolutely no intention of getting in harms way themselves. You’ve only gotta look right now at the amount of people; men and women, and their kids, trying to get back home from some war torn zone that they were conned into going to, thinking they were supporting some noble homeland cause that turned out to be just another war ghetto.
The twentieth century took this stupidity to never before seen levels of carnage that hopefully we’ll never see again. How many people can explain the reason for World War 1 commencing, anyone?
Well as it turns out, Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Prince Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofie were gunned down as they toured Sarajevo in Bosnia in an open carriage, and every nation in Europe piled on. Now, who can explain the reason for WW1 commencing? We’re still no closer to the real reason.
The reality is that a particular un-named empire, (here’s a clue; we took thousands of their pale skinned immigrants after WW2, particularly in Elizabeth), had stockpiled a massive arms build up and wanted to change the geography of Europe. They had a view to picking over the bones of previous countries to enlarge their empire in their usual, gun-boat diplomacy way. So they engineered the event in Sarajevo.
Didn’t turn out that way; millions of men were marched forward into those new fangled ‘machine’ guns, and were chopped down accordingly. In one particular battle, five Divisions, or 100,000 men, were marched forward at dawn to take a strategic hill. By lunchtime that day they had lost the equivalent of three divisions, 60, 000 men, cut down by the sweeping machine gun nests.
Pommy General Haig called off the attack before he ate his lunch.
World War 2 was even worse. Over the 6 year duration, 60 million died, (that’s sixty MILLION), just in Europe alone.
Now we come to an example of the hopelessness of it all. Twenty million dead were Russians. Stalin and Zukov felt that although they were short on arms and munitions at that stage, they had an overwhelming advantage in numbers of men. So they thrust their armies forward into battle, some armed, some not. One in two Russian combatants had a gun at Stalingrad. One in four at Kursk! The idea being that you marched forward and if the man beside you was shot you picked up his gun, that’s if you weren’t shot yourself. Believe it or not this worked, but again only out of stupidity. Hitler chose to take on two superpowers at once, (against his generals’ advice), the Americans in the west, and the Russians in the east. The German loss of life from stupid strategies like that was in the multi-millions.
Six million non-combatant Jews were murdered across Europe; men, women and children, many in the most ghastly ways possible.
In the Pacific, much loss of life drove one participating nation to its knees, to the point it begged for an armistace. The leading victorious nation in the Pacific rejected the appeal for peace because it wanted to warn off another allied nation who we previously mentioned from the European battles. So it nuked the submissive country. And it did so by bombing a pristine city that had no strategic, logistic or military value, with a single device. They wanted to show their other ‘friendly’ nation the complete damage this weapon could cause, and warn them off from doing any invading themselves. A few days later they dropped another on an alternate pristine city, again of no military value, to make their point.
The effect on the populations in both cities was horrific. They were then, benevolently, allowed to surrender. War was over.
So celebrate the lives and the deeds of our Anzacs, called at different times in our country’s short existence as the best fighting men in the world. The feats of our 9th Division alone, in North Africa (Tobruk), and New Guinea (Kokoda), may never be seen again.
Indeed it was Irwin Rommel who, when he couldn’t dig the Aussies out of the deepsea port in Libya with the might of his Afrika Korps, shouted the question; “Who are these rats of Tobruk?” And the Aussies liked it. But that’s another story for another time.
Enjoy your freedom, it came at a cost.