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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12657/12657/

The Blockade and Attempted Starvation of Germany

May 7, 2010 by

The effects of the blockade were soon being felt by the German civilians. In June 1915, bread began to be rationed. By 1916, the German population was surviving on a meager amount of bread, sausage, potatoes, and turnips. FULL ARTICLE by Ralph Raico

{ 42 comments }

Gil May 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

Boo friggin hoo! War isn’t as glamorous as the movies made it out to be? Or war is supposed to be gentlemen’s duel and nothing more? You might as well complain about the atomic bombings of Japan. So what? The Americans had a new weapon that gave them the upper hand and they used it. It was that or send troops into Japan for a ground battle and waste American lives.

Simply put: c’est la guerre.

mpolzkill May 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

Some “boo-hooing” from suckers on the “winning side”:

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/bookauth/battle/jones.htm

Even though we are vastly outnumbered, it is somewhat comforting to see the brains on our side vs. the imbecility of the Gils of the world.

El Tonno May 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

Not to mention that it is still unclear what the UK or the US were doing in WWI in the first place. Well, for the UK, it seems it was Lloyd George who didn’t want to end the cabinet and thus his career, so he gave in to Churchill’s warwankery. As for the US, an ancient version of Cruise Missile Liberalism applies, I think.

mpolzkill May 7, 2010 at 10:50 am

It was that and the same old scams as well, just like today:

http://mises.org/daily/2543

General Smedley Butler wrote well on it, too.

Patrick Crozier May 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Not to mention that it is still unclear what the UK or the US were doing in WWI in the first place.

In the UK’s case, to defend the people of Belgium and, later-on, France.

Dennis May 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

The more accurate reason as to why Great Britain entered WWI was that for several hundred years that country’s policy was to oppose the strongest power in continental Europe, which until the late 19th century was almost invariably France. Germany assumed this position shortly after its unification under Bismarck and by the beginning of the 20th century had surpassed Great Britain to become the world’s second largest industrial power (after the U.S.).

As for Belgium, this is the same Belgium that a few years earlier had killed 8 million in its war to maintain colonial rule over the Belgian Congo. Of course, this does not exonerate Germany for violating the rights of a neutral country, but it does shed important light as to the supposed nobility and purity of Belgium during this period.

Dennis May 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Also, it is hard to reconcile the supposed noble aspirations of Britain, France, and the U.S. during WWI with the fact that they were deliberately allied with czarist Russia, clearly the most non-liberal (in the classical sense) of the major belligerents.

P.M.Lawrence May 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

“As for Belgium, this is the same Belgium that a few years earlier had killed 8 million in its war to maintain colonial rule over the Belgian Congo”.

No. This is a widespread myth. The King of the Belgians did that, with the help of adventurers from all over Europe – often Germans – and at least one Canadian. Belgium was what put a stop to that, by taking over the area from the king.

Dennis May 8, 2010 at 7:55 am

Were not the people of Belgium at least partially responsible for the actions of their king?

Colonialism and imperialism, which were to varying degrees practiced by most of the European countries (and by the U.S.), constitute reprehensible behavior whose negative ramifications exist to this day. The Allies arguably were engaged in colonialism and imperialism to a greater extent than the Central Powers, and the Allies’ emphasis on self-determination was largely war propaganda and a classic “do as I say but not as I do,” unless one believes that Asians and Africans have less of a right to self-determination than Europeans.

A substantial revisionist history exists regarding WW I that presents a much more factually accurate account of this conflict and its causes than what is typically taught to schoolchildren in the U.S. Professor Raico’s essay, “World War I: The Turning Point” is an outstanding and well-documented overview of the ideology and events contributing to U.S. involvement in this conflict, which was likely the most detrimental event in Western Civilization in the 20th century.

P.M.Lawrence May 9, 2010 at 1:37 am

At May 8, 2010 at 7:55 am, Dennis wrote “Were not the people of Belgium at least partially responsible for the actions of their king?”

Yes – which is why they stepped in and put a stop to those things once they knew what he was really up to. They were not responsible for him doing those things or for overseeing him in the first place; he wasn’t their slave. If anything, the USA was responsible, for granting the first international recognition for his project. Belgium was not responsible for the atrocities.

“Colonialism and imperialism, which were to varying degrees practiced by most of the European countries (and by the U.S.), constitute reprehensible behavior whose negative ramifications exist to this day”.

No – because those things were not the simplistic thing modern understanding supposes. It was not a question of whether or not things should be taken from defenceless others but rather who should get them if someone was going to take them anyway. The British Empire grew in a strategically defensive way, making sure that other powers wouldn’t take things (at first the French, then the Russians, and finally Germany). European powers went into Africa on a small scale to put a stop to local abuses like slavery (see above for why Belgium went in – if it hadn’t, the Congo Free State would have continued), then on a larger scale to make sure that the other powers didn’t get an advantage that could tip the balance of power.

‘The Allies arguably were engaged in colonialism and imperialism to a greater extent than the Central Powers, and the Allies’ emphasis on self-determination was largely war propaganda and a classic “do as I say but not as I do,” unless one believes that Asians and Africans have less of a right to self-determination than Europeans.’

The Allies had no such propaganda at all; that self-determination stuff was entirely down to Woodrow Wilson. But, as a matter of historical fact, concepts of national identity like that weren’t in place in the taken over areas at the time; they only developed later, under (ironically) colonial influence. Churchill once echoed a remark of Metternich’s about Italy, saying that “India is not a country but a geographical expression like the equator” – and he was absolutely accurate at the time he said it. Even at independence India did not have that identity (which is why Pakistan came to be) and large areas did not want to join (like Hyderabad, maybe twice the size of France, which India invaded and annexed to force into that national identity).

Mladen Grujic May 13, 2011 at 2:08 am

Well, its fairly clear what the US was doing in WWI…teaching “everyone” a lesson.

newson May 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

or rather, c’est l’imbécillité.

those who don’t revel in mindless propanganda may like to read erik von kuehnelt-leddihn’s piece in “the myth of national defense”, p.104

Although the Japanese had twice desperately asked for armistice conditions—in April 1945 through the Vatican and in July via Moscow—the answer was only the infamous and idiotic “unconditional surrender” formula. (The American people knew nothing about this, and during that period, not only thousands of Japanese died in vain but also innumerable American “boys.”)

Sword of Damocles May 7, 2010 at 11:38 am

Unconditional Surrender worked for the Union troops during the so called “Civil War” why would they change tactics later. Hell, Grant was call “Unconditional Surrender” Grant and look where it got him. Pemberton (CS Commander at Vicksburg) tried to surrender “under terms” as the citizens of Vicksburg starved to death and had started building underground holes to live in. What was Grant’s reply, “No terms except unconditional surrender” and he then started shelling the town again as he had completely given up shelling the CS troops and had resorted to shelling the civilians in Vicksburg.

Matter of fact, and to the main issue of the article, the Union had completely blockaded The South and had cut off nearly all imports of medicine and supplies. Then they started cutting rail lines and literally started the process of starving the civilians of The South to, as Sherman said, “make war so terrible that generations shall pass away before they ever want to take up arms” again. How could the US, in any honesty, object to the blockade of Germany when it had done exactly the same thing 50 years earlier?

Just my thoughts,
SOD

mpolzkill May 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

Pshew. Yes, good for Grant and his corporatist and bankster sponsors, bad for everyone else on the planet.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/828843/posts

That war criminal Sherman must have the most annoying quotes ever attributed to an individual. Sure took a long time for the Germans to take up arms again after 1918, didn’t it?

Sword of Damocles May 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Yep, not quite a single generation (counting generations at 33 years) was it? What is very disturbing, at least to me, is how all of this is intertwined historically and nobody really views it that way, except here of course ;).

Just my thoughts,
SOD

Gil May 8, 2010 at 12:08 am

Well Duh! Of course the losing side must unconditionally surrender. Put up the white flag and throw away your arms. The losing side cannot seriously think they can get away with ‘conditional’ surrender. It’s practical an oxymoron.

Tom Woods May 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

So a serious moral question simply becomes,”Hey, that’s war.” I see. So the rights of all the people in an entire geographical area are immediately canceled because some politician says the word “war”? And when someone points out a war atrocity we’re supposed to get angry and impatient? That is seriously, seriously dehumanizing. Break out of the establishment’s vocabulary, man.

Christopher May 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Yes. You don’t want to half@ss it. IIRC the Germans were entangled in alliances which forced their hand against the British. I’m anxious to hear an alternative.

Fephisto May 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Chris: I believe Tom is bringing up the point of morality; not the point of practicality.

Gil May 8, 2010 at 12:23 am

I believe war creates a sort of ‘moral commons’ in the warring geographical areas. If there a clear cut aggressor then a moral argument can be established regardless of who wins. However many conflicts happen between two sides who both feel the other is the wrongdoer.

Anyway I believe truly innocent people are those who are not part of the war effort whatsoever. In reality, most of the population is part of the war effort and most structures are valid military targets. Ideally wars shouldn’t take part in the first place because it’s going to hell. ‘War atrocity’ borders on being a redundant term.

mpolzkill May 8, 2010 at 1:19 am

I had this idea earlier of replacing “war” with “dating” in all of Gil’s posts:

I believe dating creates a sort of ‘moral commons’ in the restaurants and bars. If there’s a clear cut aggressor then a moral argument can be established regardless of whether one scores or not.

Anyway I believe truly innocent girls are those who are not part of any dating whatsoever. In reality, most girls date and most girls’ areas are targets. Ideally girls shouldn’t go on dates in the first place because it’s going to be hell. ‘Date Rape’ borders on being a redundant term.

Gil May 8, 2010 at 3:26 am

You’re an idiot.

mpolzkill May 8, 2010 at 8:01 am

I know, I told myself I wouldn’t read your posts anymore.

Haha, almost an emotion, and I was thinking Newson was right that you could be paid to make internet noise.

Hey half-wit, Raico said “state atrocities.” Still a redundancy, but I forgive him.

newson May 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm

when is gil going to defend landmines as expedient?

Gil May 8, 2010 at 12:13 am

Why don’t Americans defend landmines as per their Second Amendment? As long as they only mine their yard and put up warning signs then it’s all good.

Caley McKibbin May 7, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Boo hoo @ the Holocaust. C’est la guerre. :)

Nate May 7, 2010 at 10:34 am

It’s unfortunate that it was many years after high school that I first learned of the British blockade of all goods to Germany during WW1. And that President Wilson never bothered to press the matter, yet made rather outrageous demands of Germany.

P T Bull May 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Thanks for the interesting read. The public narrative of these wars, which I received in k-12, were simplified and sanitized. Still I should count myself fortunate. My younger sister, when in high school, asked my dad who won world war II.

newson May 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm

a: stalin

maverick muse May 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm

The British starved the Irish in genocide during the great potato famine, hijacking all successful crops from the Irish on moral grounds that it was God’s Will that the Irish starve. The British, specifically Winston Churchill, starved those in India whom the British Army isolated/imprisoned for wanting independence, despite the loyalty of India to Britain during WWI. Circumstances motivating America’s Revolution from Britain included laws and taxes prohibiting Colonials from their own produce, required to buy British produce with a double or triple tax added, and soldiers invading your home to “keep the peace”.

Gil May 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I believe Gandhi took Hitler’s side because Germanywas at war his Oppressor. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend.)

Fephisto May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Woodrow Wilson:

Waged the Great War.
Waged the Income Tax.
Waged the Federal Reserve.

Worst President.

(W may be the second worst.)

Patrick Crozier May 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm

The effects of the blockade were soon being felt by the German civilians.

Shouldn’t that read “The effects of the blockade and the German government’s refusal to surrrenderwere soon being felt by German civilians.”?

mpolzkill May 7, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Patrick,

Let’s say you and I are fighting over, I don’t know, the title of a car, or say the exclusive rights to exploit an African region. If I threaten to shoot your wife if you don’t capitulate, and you don’t, is her death your fault?

P.M.Lawrence May 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm

One difficulty is that things are simply not as clear cut as asserting that Germany was deprived of necessary food which had to come from outside. All through, Germany had the resources to feed everybody without importing food – only, it would have had to take men from the front for the farms, use the railways to service food distribution rather than military logistics, and use its nitrate production for fertiliser rather than war materiel. The proximate cause of the starvation was that Germany prioritised the war effort over food production. Note that Switzerland, Scandinavia and Holland didn’t starve even though their food imports were also curtailed, though not as much (and Holland, at least, had a proportionally smaller agricultural sector than Germany).

mpolzkill May 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Yes, the English gangsters had better cards in their hand, the German gangsters shouldn’t have tried to compete.

newson May 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm

i didn’t see raico’s paper in any way exculpating the german government.

Gil May 8, 2010 at 12:12 am

Ohhhh, so the Brits were the bad guys and the Germans were the good guys? Oh yeah and the U.S. unofficially declared war on Japan and feigned surprise after the attack at Pearl Harbor.

newson May 8, 2010 at 4:40 am

you must be getting paid for churning out such inanities.

Gil May 8, 2010 at 7:23 am

Aw what? I’m a sucker if I believe the official statist history? The real WW1 and WW2 history is so much horribly different? The statist ‘good’ guys were really the aggressors and the ‘bad’ guys while not nice they were defenders per se?

mpolzkill May 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Suckers and chickenhawks, that’s the lot of you.

mikey May 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Personal correspondence between Churchill and foreign minister White shows he was panicked at the thought of Britain not having a reason to be involved in this war.It was a sore point that Britain had stayed out of the war of 1870.
Germans ‘leaders’ were obsessed with humiliating France, not using their heads at all.There was never a chance for peace as long as Germany had Alsace-Lorraine.
King Leopold? A very bad man, dont blame the Belgian people.He was successful in keeping his actions
in the Congo a secret.It was a shipping clerk in London all on his lonesome who discovered what was happening. All deduced from bills of lading. Lots of diamonds rubber and other valuable stuff leaving the Congo.Nothing going there but soldiers and guns.

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