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Friday, 30 June 2017

War in Croatia - VIDEO

After the breakup of Yugoslavia Serbian forces attacked Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus wanting to fulfill the plans about Great Serbian state, which would include Bosnia and Herzegovina and most of Croatia. This video shows the routes of Serbian military aggression on Croatia. Despite the fact that Serbs overtook JNA (Yugoslavian national army), they still wanted to represent themselves as guardians of Yugoslavia, even though they were trying to fulfill their plans about Great Serbian state. 


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Documentary film about the breakup of Yugoslavia

In order to introduce this complex topic to all the people who follow this blog in this or that way I wanted to suggest you to watch the following documentary:

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

WWI Timeline

Comprehensive Year-by-Year Timelines with Photos
Year
Timeline Title
Highlights
1914
Pre-war Alliances; Belgium Invaded; Battle of Tannenberg; Battle of the Marne; First Battle of Ypres; Trench Warfare Begins
1915
Poison Gas First Used; U-Boat Warfare Begins; Second Battle of Ypres; Gallipoli Landings; Lusitania Sunk; Italy Enters War
1916
Battle of Verdun; Sea Battle of Jutland; Russian Brusilov Offensive; Battle of the Somme; French Nivelle Offensive; Romania Enters War
1917
Zimmermann Telegram; Russian Revolution; America Enters War; French Mutiny; Third Battle of Ypres; Caporetto Attack; British Tank Attack
1918
German Spring Offensives; First American Action; Allied Counter-Offensives; Armistice Ends Fighting; Treaty of Versailles; Post-war Germany



source: http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/firstworldwar/index.html

Sunday, 14 May 2017

VIETNAM WAR AS THE WORKING-CLASS WAR

Vietnam war is regarded to be one of the most controversial and divisive wars in the American history, which left numerous implications on the present-day American society. Americans were present in Vietnam for nearly 30 years, from 1944 to 1973. The US supported French attempt to subjugate their former colony and to stop the spread of communism. However, the French had lost the war by 1954, while Ho Chi Minh established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the northern part of the country. Consequently, the US supported the creation of the rival state in the southern part of Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam. Despite the fact that Americans helped, advised and financed South Vietnamese army, they were losing their positions. This led to the direct American involvement in 1965. However, after the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Americans started to withdrawn from Vietnam, which completed in 1973. The war ended in 1975 after the victory of the North Vietnamese Army, which reunited the divided nation.
   
Vietnam War is regarded as one of the most painful and harshest conflicts in the American history. Probably, the most painful fact about this war was that thousands of young people went to the foreign and unknown territory, where they were killed or negatively affected by the war in different ways. Three American presidents, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, sent 3 million young Americans to South Vietnam. Furthermore, they were fighting in a war which was on the edge of the American consciousness. The number of American troops in the Vietnam War gradually increased over the years; from 15,000 troops in 1964 to more than a half a million soldiers in 1968. That was the era (1964-1973) of the “baby boom” generation, when 27 million people came of draft age. However, less than 10 percent of that generation went to Vietnam. This happened due to fact that military service in the period of 1950s and 1960s became less universal, in comparison to the Second World War period or during the Korean War (Appy 17-18). Therefore, it became obvious that the option of participating or not participating in American wars became completely optional for some members of the American society.
            Vietnam War proved itself to be very costly, both in terms of economy and blood. It brought many economic problems, such as higher taxes, trade deficit, wage controls, inflation and a recession in 1970 and 1971 (Bates 90). However, its biggest implications were related to the working-class, which suffered significant consequences. Milton J. Bates explains the way in which the American drafting system functions during the 1960s:
“The American way of choosing military conscripts has always been selective, and in this respect it mirrors the country’s socioeconomic order as a whole. In theory all are created equal and all are treated equally under law. But in practice some are more equal than others; some earn more money, pay less in taxes, and enjoy a greater share of what Max Weber called life chances” (90-91).
Moreover, Bates elaborates further on this topic, saying that in the traditional stratification of American society (upper, middle, working, and lower classes), upper and middle classes live significantly less dangerous than the other two, especially during the wartime (Bates 91). The difference between poor and well-off Americans became obvious in the period of the Vietnam War Draft. This system was consisted of numerous local draft boards, which were intended to secure the support of the people. Members of these boards were usually older, well-educated, white-collar workers (Bates 92). According to Davis and Dolbeare, “the system placed the greatest burden of military service on rural, white, lower-income, non-college youths and physically and mentally acceptable Negroes” (cited in Bates 92-93). While describing several men from his platoon, Phillip Caputo explains the reasons which led those men to come to Vietnam:
“Most of them came from the ragged fringes of the Great American Dream, from city slums and dirt farms and Appalachian mining towns. With depressing frequency, the words 2 yrs. high school appeared in the square labelled EDUCATION in their service record books…The threat of the draft came with their eighteenth birthdays, and they had no hope of getting student deferments, like the upper-middle-class who would later revile them as killers...Others were driven by economic and psychological pressures; the Marines provided them with a guaranteed annual income, free medical care, free clothing, and something else, less tangible but just as valuable; self-respect”(27-28).
Caputo’s reflection shows the complexity of the interrelatedness between class and participation in Vietnam War. He shows that many soldiers from his platoon came from the working or lower classes. Furthermore, the higher social classes were able to afford professional advisory on different ways of draft avoidance. For example, students were able to find professional help on numerous college campuses (Appy 35). However, those students who could not afford to pay different expenses (primarily those from working-class) related to the life in the campus were forced to reduce their course load and find a part-time job. Consequently, they were no longer eligible for a deferment (Bates 93). Moreover, the draft avoidance in the working-class neighbourhoods was considered to be an act of cowardice. Therefore, the community support for draft avoidance in those neighbourhoods practically did not exist (Appy 35). These facts show the complexity of the data collected about the Vietnam War Draft by different scholars.
The ruthless and sobering experience of Vietnam War was, in most of the cases, reserved just for the unprivileged stratum of the American society. The young Americans from working and lower classes will also experience the brutalization and psychological metamorphosis caused by the unhuman war conditions.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

WWII Statistics: Death toll

This post briefly represents the total number of deaths in the WWII, which was the most monstrous and disastrous conflict in the human history. The biggest difference between WWI and WWII is that there is a great discrepancy between numbers of civilian casualties, which made WWII extremely ruthless and genocidal.

Country
Military
Civilian
Total
USSR
12 million
17 million
29 million
Poland
597,000
5.86 million
6.27 million
Germany
3.25 million
2.44 million
5.69 million
Yugoslavia
305,000
1.35 million
1.66 million
Romania
450,000
465,000
915,000
Hungary
200,000
600,000
800,000
France
245,000
350,000
595,000
Italy
380,000
153,000
533,000
Great Britain
403,000
92,700
495,000
United States
407,000
6,000
413,000
Czechoslovakia
7,000
315,000
322,000
Holland
13,700
236,000
249,000
Greece
19,000
140,000
159,000
Belgium
76,000
23,000
99,000

Source:

http://www.world-war-2.info/statistics/

Friday, 21 April 2017

Nanking massacre

In December of 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army marched into China's capital city of Nanking and proceeded to murder 300,000 out of 600,000 civilians and soldiers in the city. The six weeks of carnage would become known as the Rape of Nanking and represented the single worst atrocity during the World War II era in either the European or Pacific theaters of war.


The actual military invasion of Nanking was preceded by a tough battle at Shanghai that began in the summer of 1937. Chinese forces there put up surprisingly stiff resistance against the Japanese Army which had expected an easy victory in China. The Japanese had even bragged they would conquer all of China in just three months. The stubborn resistance by the Chinese troops upset that timetable, with the battle dragging on through the summer into late fall. This infuriated the Japanese and whetted their appetite for the revenge that was to follow at Nanking.


After finally defeating the Chinese at Shanghai in November, 50,000 Japanese soldiers then marched on toward Nanking. Unlike the troops at Shanghai, Chinese soldiers at Nanking were poorly led and loosely organized. Although they greatly outnumbered the Japanese and had plenty of ammunition, they withered under the ferocity of the Japanese attack, then engaged in a chaotic retreat. After just four days of fighting, Japanese troops smashed into the city on December 13, 1937, with orders issued to "kill all captives."
Their first concern was to eliminate any threat from the 90,000 Chinese soldiers who surrendered. To the Japanese, surrender was an unthinkable act of cowardice and the ultimate violation of the rigid code of military honor drilled into them from childhood onward. Thus they looked upon Chinese POWs with utter contempt, viewing them as less than human, unworthy of life.

The elimination of the Chinese POWs began after they were transported by trucks to remote locations on the outskirts of Nanking. As soon as they were assembled, the savagery began, with young Japanese soldiers encouraged by their superiors to inflict maximum pain and suffering upon individual POWs as a way of toughening themselves up for future battles, and also to eradicate any civilized notions of mercy. Filmed footage and still photographs taken by the Japanese themselves document the brutality. Smiling soldiers can be seen conducting bayonet practice on live prisoners, decapitating them and displaying severed heads as souvenirs, and proudly standing among mutilated corpses. Some of the Chinese POWs were simply mowed down by machine-gun fire while others were tied-up, soaked with gasoline and burned alive.


After the destruction of the POWs, the soldiers turned their attention to the women of Nanking and an outright animalistic hunt ensued. Old women over the age of 70 as well as little girls under the age of 8 were dragged off to be sexually abused. More than 20,000 females (with some estimates as high as 80,000) were gang-raped by Japanese soldiers, then stabbed to death with bayonets or shot so they could never bear witness.

Pregnant women were not spared. In several instances, they were raped, then had their bellies slit open and the fetuses torn out. Sometimes, after storming into a house and encountering a whole family, the Japanese forced Chinese men to rape their own daughters, sons to rape their mothers, and brothers their sisters, while the rest of the family was made to watch.

Throughout the city of Nanking, random acts of murder occurred as soldiers frequently fired their rifles into panicked crowds of civilians, killing indiscriminately. Other soldiers killed shopkeepers, looted their stores, then set the buildings on fire after locking people of all ages inside. They took pleasure in the extraordinary suffering that ensued as the people desperately tried to escape the flames by climbing onto rooftops or leaping down onto the street.
The incredible carnage - citywide burnings, stabbings, drownings, strangulations, rapes, thefts, and massive property destruction - continued unabated for about six weeks, from mid-December 1937 through the beginning of February 1938. Young or old, male or female, anyone could be shot on a whim by any Japanese soldier for any reason. Corpses could be seen everywhere throughout the city. The streets of Nanking were said to literally have run red with blood.
1
Those who were not killed on the spot were taken to the outskirts of the city and forced to dig their own graves, large rectangular pits that would be filled with decapitated corpses resulting from killing contests the Japanese held among themselves. Other times, the Japanese forced the Chinese to bury each other alive in the dirt.
After this period of unprecedented violence, the Japanese eased off somewhat and settled in for the duration of the war. To pacify the population during the long occupation, highly addictive narcotics, including opium and heroin, were distributed by Japanese soldiers to the people of Nanking, regardless of age. An estimated 50,000 persons became addicted to heroin while many others lost themselves in the city's opium dens.
In addition, the notorious Comfort Women system was introduced which forced young Chinese women to become slave-prostitutes, existing solely for the sexual pleasure of Japanese soldiers.

News reports of the happenings in Nanking appeared in the official Japanese press and also in the West, as page-one reports in newspapers such as the New York Times. Japanese news reports reflected the militaristic mood of the country in which any victory by the Imperial Army resulting in further expansion of the Japanese empire was celebrated. Eyewitness reports by Japanese military correspondents concerning the sufferings of the people of Nanking also appeared. They reflected a mentality in which the brutal dominance of subjugated or so-called inferior peoples was considered just. Incredibly, one paper, the Japan Advertiser, actually published a running count of the heads severed by two officers involved in a decapitation contest, as if it was some kind of a sporting match.

In the United States, reports published in the New York TimesReader's Digest and Time Magazine, were greeted with skepticism from the American public. The stories smuggled out of Nanking seemed almost too fantastic to be believed.
Overall, most Americans had only a passing knowledge or little interest in Asia. Political leaders in both America and Britain remained overwhelmingly focused on the situation in Europe where Adolf Hitler was rapidly re-arming Germany while at the same time expanding the borders of the Nazi Reich through devious political maneuvers.

Back in Nanking, however, all was not lost. An extraordinary group of about 20 Americans and Europeans remaining in the city, composed of missionaries, doctors and businessmen, took it upon themselves to establish an International Safety Zone. Using Red Cross flags, they brazenly declared a 2.5 square-mile area in the middle of the city off limits to the Japanese. On numerous occasions, they also risked their lives by personally intervening to prevent the execution of Chinese men or the rape of women and young girls.

These Westerners became the unsung heroes of Nanking, working day and night to the point of exhaustion to aid the Chinese. They also wrote down their impressions of the daily scenes they witnessed, with one describing Nanking as "hell on earth." Another wrote of the Japanese soldiers: "I did not imagine that such cruel people existed in the modern world." About 300,000 Chinese civilians took refuge inside their Safety Zone. Almost all of the people who did not make it into the Zone during the Rape of Nanking ultimately perished.

source: www.thehistoryplace.com


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Rwandan Genocide


By the early 1990s, Rwanda, a small country with an overwhelmingly agricultural economy, had one of the highest population densities in Africa. About 85 percent of its population is Hutu; the rest is Tutsi, along with a small number of Twa, a Pygmy group who were the original inhabitants of Rwanda. Part of German East Africa from 1894 to 1918, Rwanda came under the League of Nations mandate of Belgium after WWI, along with neighboring Burundi. Rwanda’s colonial period, during which the ruling Belgians favored the minority Tutsis over the Hutus, exacerbated the tendency of the few to oppress the many, creating a legacy of tension that exploded into violence even before Rwanda gained its independence. A Hutu revolution in 1959 forced as many as 300,000 Tutsis to flee the country, making them an even smaller minority. By early 1961, victorious Hutus had forced Rwanda’s Tutsi monarch into exile and declared the country a republic. After a U.N. referendum that same year, Belgium officially granted independence to Rwanda in July 1962.Ethnically motivated violence continued in the years following independence. In 1973, a military group installed Major General Juvenal Habyarimana, a moderate Hutu, in power. The sole leader of Rwandan government for the next two decades, Habyarimana founded a new political party, the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (NRMD).  
He was elected president under a new constitution ratified in 1978 and reelected in 1983 and 1988, when he was the sole candidate. In 1990, forces of the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), consisting mostly of Tutsi refugees, invaded Rwanda from Uganda. A ceasefire in these hostilities led to negotiations between the government and the RPF in 1992. In August 1993, Habyarimana signed an agreement at Arusha, Tanzania, calling for the creation of a transition government that would include the RPF. This power-sharing agreement angered Hutu extremists, who would soon take swift and horrible action to prevent it.

GENOCIDE


On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying Habyarimana and Burundi’s president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down over Kigali, leaving no survivors. (It has never been conclusively determined who the culprits were. Some have blamed Hutu extremists, while others blamed leaders of the RPF.) Within an hour of the plane crash, the Presidential Guard together with members of the Rwandan armed forces (FAR) and Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe (“Those Who Attack Together”) and Impuzamugambi (“Those Who Have the Same Goal”) set up roadblocks and barricades and began slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus with impunity. Among the first victims of the genocide were the moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and her 10 Belgian bodyguards, killed on April 7. This violence created a political vacuum, into which an interim government of extremist Hutu Power leaders from the military high command stepped on April 9.

 The mass killings in Rwanda quickly spread from Kigali to the rest of the country, with some 800,000 people slaughtered over the next three months. During this period, local officials and government-sponsored radio stations called on ordinary Rwandan civilians to murder their neighbors. Meanwhile, the RPF resumed fighting, and civil war raged alongside the genocide. By early July, RPF forces had gained control over most of country, including Kigali. In response, more than 2 million people, nearly all Hutus, fled Rwanda, crowding into refugee camps in the Congo (then called Zaire) and other neighboring countries.


After its victory, the RPF established a coalition government similar to that agreed upon at Arusha, with Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, as president and Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, as vice president and defense minister. Habyarimana’s NRMD party, which had played a key role in organizing the genocide, was outlawed, and a new constitution adopted in 2003 eliminated reference to ethnicity. The new constitution was followed by Kagame’s election to a 10-year term as Rwanda’s president and the country’s first-ever legislative elections.