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Get rid of these people

The British deserves better than this drivel

But what I found most offensive of all is that World War II is to be described as "the European Civil War".

As an Australian, who’s father fought in North Africa and the Pacific, I doubt he finds this any less offensive than I do.

In truth the proposal to redesignate World War II as the European Civil War shows Europhiles to be "little Europeans" – insular, arrogant and inward-looking.


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    I knew they’d try to pull that one sometime.

    Actually, I didn’t. I never thought they’d have the nerve. And, given that this is the Mail, I’ll take it with a pinch of salt. I’ve seen how they operate: propose something ridiculous, then withdraw the most ridiculous part and blame it on the likes of the Mail overreacting. Never fails. My guess is they’ll build their Palace of European Greatness, but without the “Civil War” nonsense.

    I wouldn’t put it past them to sneak it in later, though. They do that, too.

    Dead right about “little Europeans”.

  2. Sam Duncan says:

    By the way, I think the two World Wars are described thus by a teacher in Andrew Roberts’ The Aachen Memorandum. (Flawed – he clearly doesn’t have a clue about information tech., and didn’t bother to ask – but worth a read.)

  3. Edward Lud says:

    The European Civil War is a thesis that’s been doing the rounds for about 20 years among academic historians. I believe Alan Milward is responsible for it.

  4. zack says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard the World Wars described as “European Civil Wars” before. Of course Mark Styen puts it best: “It’s a funny kind of ‘European civil war’ that needs quite so many non-Europeans to do all the liberating”

    Also: “It was, in a certain sense (and putting Russia and Japan to one side), a “western civil war” between the Anglophone democracies and Continental Fascists – but for some reason that’s far less congenial an interpretation to EU myth-makers.”

  5. David Gillies says:

    Orwell categorised stuff like this as something so stupid only an intellectual could believe it.

  6. Edward Lud says:

    I always thought it was just modish claptrap, David.

  7. RAB says:

    Well this is the second post you’ve put up that I had planned to do myself Cats. You are on a roll this week good sir!

    What kind of delusionary dingbat could even think of calling WW2 “The European Civil War” let alone saying it out loud with a straight face? Well I think we know don’t we? The EU fanatics who genuinely believe that Europe is one country undivided by culture or politics or any of the inconvenient history of the conflicts of last three thousand years, hell, the last 70 even!

    These fools are so coccooned in their all expenses paid unreality, that they really believe it wuz the EU wot saved the peace for the last 60 years, not Nato, or the genuine lack of wanting to go to war by any particular Nation in furtherence of their expansionist ambitions.

    The way things are going it will soon be illegal to literally mention the War in the land of EU Faulty Towers, in case it is thought of as a Hate crime that might embarrass the protagonists like Germany and Italy, or the cheese eating happy collaboratists, until they could see which way the wind was blowing, like the French.

    The EU is like a little precocious serious minded child, who was given a train set for christmas in 1946 (the Iron and Coal Union) and had a lot of fun playing with his game on the carpet of the living-room watching his choo choo go round and round. But that palled quickly, so for his birthday his parents (the Nation States) bought him a bit more track, and a station to pull in and out of, and a siding. Much more fun, but then again it needed something more, so on subsequent christmas’s and birthdays, the precocious child added more rolling stock, more engines, signal boxes and tunnels.

    Well it got to the point that it was impossible to play with the train set on the carpet in the living-room any more. It had got too big, so the parents moved it to the attic. Out of sight out of mind they thought, as long as little Francois is having fun, why should we be worried?

    But little Francois wasn’t finished yet. The train set grew to resemble more and more the reality of little Francois fantasies. It started to colonise the bedrooms and finally the parents (the Nation states) found themselves living in the garage.

    And that is where we are right now folks, living in the garage. The Parish Council of Avalon. The little precocious child’s plaything fantasy has become our reality.

    Smash it! Smash it now! Tear up the tracks and burn down the stations, or we will never ever have a chance to be free again.

  8. Nelsontouch says:

    This idea has done the rounds for longer than 20 years. I recall hearing the phrase used at a student conference in about 1971 or 1972.
    The speaker was a government minister under Ted Heath. It might have been Geoffrey Rippon (who was I think the negotiator for entry). Or the industry minister John Davies (who died young, as I recall.)
    I doubt he made it up; it was the desperate attempt by pro-Common Market people to view the whole continent as just one country really, isn’t it, so any unfortunate event is a family affair.
    But regarding it as a war of fascists against the rest would not be possible. A very high proportion of the founding fathers from small European countries had been in fascist youth movements in the 20′s and 30s.
    The book to read on that subject is “The Tainted Source”.

  9. CountingCats says:

    Yeah, I remember reading this years ago. I thought it was tripe then, I think it is tripe now.

  10. Paul Marks says:

    Agreed – with post and comments.

  11. Sam Duncan says:

    To be honest, I’ve no real objection to using the idea of WWII being, in part, a European “civil war” as an intellectual tool, a way of thinking about its causes. And yes, that’s been around for years. But to go around actually calling it that is a different matter…

    Anyway, the thought struck me today that we’ll know if it’s is a goer when the BBC starts using it.

  12. Lynne says:

    My father is not alive to say it (Dunkirk, North Africa and Italy veteran) so I’ll say it for him.

    He and millions of others didn’t fight, resulting in many dead or permanently maimed, so that some fucking scumbag Brussels bureaucrat could hijack the horrors and sacrifices of WWII and claim it for the EU.

  13. john b says:

    It’s always amusing when columnists apply the term “you couldn’t make it up” to something they’ve, erm, made up.

    The European Civil War concept isn’t a term for WWII. It never has been; nobody uses it that way; nobody intends to use it that way; and the House of European History isn’t using and won’t use it that way.

    ECW is a (controversial, and not necessarily helpful) way of categorising the European conflicts of the first half of the 20th century – the obvious two, but also the Russian revolution and the Spanish civil war, and the cold war-ish tensions of the 1930s.

    It doesn’t include the Pacific side of WWII, for obvious reasons – rather, it claims that the European part of WWII is a continuation of the ECW (indeed, it’s only the entry of the US into the European front that hard-links the two conflicts. An alternative scenario where Germany didn’t declare war on the US and the US only fought against Japan is entirely plausible, particularly if there’d been a different president).

    The suggestion that pre-existing local conflicts can form part of wider conflicts is not a controversial one, among anyone who’s ever read any military history ever. Which, one can assume, Donal Blaney hasn’t.

  14. CountingCats says:

    it’s only the entry of the US into the European front that hard-links the two conflicts.

    Um, as an Australian I really do have the teeniest bit of a problemette with this statement. I suspect any Briton, Indian, Fijian, South African, Kenyan, Australian, New Zealander, or Caribbean Islander who was at the fall of Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore, or at the battle for New Guinea would feel the same. I suspect the Dutch might harbor similar feelings about the Dutch East Indies.

    How many Australians individually served in all of the Middle East, North Africa and the Pacific? Care to make a guess?

  15. Lynne says:

    john b – I think you are missing the point of the exercise. What we have here is the EU serially proposing WWII’s European theatre was an internecine conflict which suggests retroactively that Europe was and is a continent wide entity like the United States and therefore capable of waging civil war. In reality Europe was, and still is, a continent divided along multinational lines no matter how vehemently the clowns in Brussels deny it. To claim otherwise is a blatant attempt to rewrite the history books.

    Try calling the Peninsular War or any of the Napoleonic wars a civil strife and see how it fits. Same principle. Terming the European theatre a civil war is an insult to the various nations who fought to throw off the yoke of tyranny. The Nazis didn’t declare war on their own people, they invaded other nations. Or is there a definition of civil war that people who are not EU bureaucrats or self-proclaimed military historians are unaware of?

  16. john b says:

    CC: the war in the Pacific, as opposed to the Japanese invasion of European colonies in the Pacific, still required America.

    Without American’s involvement, the Pacific war would have been solely Japanese invasion of European colonies. That can’t be viewed as the same war as Hitler’s – it was an opportunistic way for Japan to take advantage of the European colonial powers’ weakness to solve its resource shortages, at a time when they had no chance of fighting back. Hell, Germany was allied with China against Japan until the second half of 1940.

    Yes, of course Australians and New Zealanders fought bravely alongside Americans in the Pacific and alongside Brits (and, later, Americans) in North Africa and Europe. I’ll be raising a glass to them on Wednesday. My great-uncle, after whom I’m named, died in the Australian Navy fighting the Japanese at Finschhafen.

    But the ANZACs fought in Europe out of loyalty to Britain, and in the Pacific to defend the Australian homeland (and, once the Japanese threat had been pushed back, out of loyalty to the US) – very different wars for very different reasons, reflecting the differences in outlook between prewar and postwar Australia. As I’m sure you know, Curtin and Churchill fought fiercely about returning Australian troops to the Pacific war, rather than defending North Africa and the Empire.

    Lynne: “self-proclaimed”: well, the people advancing the theory have PhDs in military history. I’m certainly not claiming to be a military historian myself, just someone who – apparently unlike the Mail writer – has actually read some military history.

  17. CountingCats says:

    john b,

    I think you are, in order to justify your original claim, inventing a difference that makes no difference.

    As the expression goes, ‘a difference which makes no difference is no difference at all’.

    So the Brits being attacked in their Asian/Pacific territories is qualitatively different to the Americans being attacked by the same people in their Asian/Pacific territories. Yessss, I can see how that is a different concept of war. Yes. Yes I can. Um, sorry, let me think about that…..

    People dead, territories invaded, lebensraum desired, yes, totally different.

  18. john b says:

    CC: the difference is significant. Without the US there wouldn’t have been a War in the Pacific, there would have been a rapid, barely-opposed Japanese occupation of E and SE Asia – at a time when the war in Europe consisted of the UK & Dominions (plus Free Forces from occupied countries) versus Germany and Italy. Japan and Germany weren’t even allied with each other for most of that process.

    It’s the US entry that makes it into a World War: on one side, that’s the first time you have an Allied force in the Pacific with the sheer manpower and materiel to put up a serious fight against Japan; and on the other, the German declaration of war on the US is the first real-world consequence of the German/Japanese axis (and possibly one of Hitler’s worst strategic mistakes – isolationist sentiment was still strong enough in the US that a US declaration of war on Germany was far from inevitable, if Germany had distanced herself from Japan after Pearl Harbor).

    In short: if you invade someone who can’t fight back, you don’t have a war. If you invade someone who can and does, then you do.

  19. CountingCats says:

    So general Japanese success in the Pacific, with their advancing on Australia through PNG and India through Burma = no war in Asia/Pacific?

  20. john b says:

    Two completely different conflicts happening for completely different reasons between different belligerents on opposite sides of the world at the same time are not a World War, even if one side is taking advantage of the fact that the other side is temporarily weakened by another war it’s fighting elsewhere.

    The Japanese invasion of the European Pacific colonies was obviously an invasion, but absent later events – say, if the UK had negotiated peace with Hitler in 1940 and the Western Front had never happened – it would not have been considered part of the same war as the Nazi invasion of Poland and France.

    Rather, it is considered that because the US entry into the war formalised and deepened the alliances between the Axis belligerents, and because the US-led liberation of Asia and Europe united European and Pacific forces under common command.

  21. Lynne says:

    john b – and what if the theories of those military historians with PhDs are wrong or misguided as they often are? Arguing from authority leaves people standing on shaky ground when those theories are questioned. If senior military ranks can’t get it right under battle conditions why on earth should we trust academics to get it right when they so often fall short of the actualité? Military history is only as good as the information governments and the armed forces want to release. Even now there are WWII documents that remain classified and unavailable for study. I would rather not accept military history propaganda and guesswork as any kind of fact or base any argument on it.

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