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Old 04-19-2010, 11:21 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I'm interested in the offball and experimental weapons which were deployed, or never got past the testing stage.
Boiling the seas would have been very stupid considering the British also had plans for an aircraft carrier made out of ice.

Project Habakkuk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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Here is a great list of wacky weapons (I have trouble believing these are real).

5 Weird Weapons Of World War II – The Allies - Weird Worm

Two favorites

Quote:
The Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment in Manchester, UK began work in 1940 on attaching rotor blades to a jeep. Nicknamed the ‘Rotabuggy’, initial tests involved dropping the jeep from heights of a few meters while it was filled with concrete to demonstrate it could take the impact without damage.
The jeep was then fitted with additional equipment including the rotor blades, a tail fairing with twin rudderless fins, a rotor control next to the steering wheel and glider navigational instruments. In 1943, the first test flight was conducted when the Rotabuggy was toed behind a Bentley and managed to glide at speeds of up to 65 mph.
The initial flights had limited success as handling proved difficult but after some modifications, the flying qualities of the vehicle were officially described as “highly satisfactory”. However the project became deemed unnecessary with the development of Horsa II and Hamilcar which were gliders equipped to carry vehicles.
I wonder if the soldiers sat in the jeeps?

I know this is true, in the sense that the russians worked on this, I doubt the 300 tanks killed number.

Quote:
Anti-tank dogs or dog-bombs were dogs that were trained by the Soviet military to seek food under tanks and armored vehicles. The dogs were left hungry for a few days and explosives strapped to their backs, they would then be left to wander fields where enemy tracked vehicles approached. As they went under the vehicle, the explosives were detonated by a wooden lever that would be triggered as they went under.
Soviet reports claim that the dogs managed to disable 300 German tanks and caused enough of a problem to the Nazis that they took measures against them. Dogs were ordered to be shot on sight and flame throwers deployed on tanks and armored vehicles to ward them off in the field.
In an unfortunate incident in 1942, the use of the dogs went horribly wrong as a group of the hungry hounds ran amok. This forced an entire division of Soviets to retreat from the battlefield and soon after the anti-tank dogs were withdrawn from regular service
PETA would be shocked...

The picture on the site of the dogs is wacky, but wont post here.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
If you can equate marxism with fascism then all authoritarian systems are the same. I listed some of the obvious idealogical differences between the two, there are many more. Marxism is the exact opposite of fascism and was seen this way by both Hitler and Stalin and most of the intellectuals of the time. For that matter most Europeans.

I have no clue where you came up with those four pillars. I have read a fair amount of fascist theory and analysis of it and never seen such an argument. Regardless nationalism, militarism, and class hiearchy were all specifically rejected by marxist in the Soviet Union and beyond. They sought to create society build around class that transcended and eliminated national states - indeed this was one of the major criticisms made of Marxism at the time by foreign governments. They were firmly anti-nationalistic inside Russia until the Second World War forced Stalin to turn to it to fight Hitler. Its simply not correct to argue that Marxist stressed nationalism, they stressed the exact opposite in the thirties.

In terms of militarism the Soviet Union followed largely defensive policies until 1939, very much different than the agressive policies of Hitler or Mussolini. There is nothing in Marxism as a doctrine, unlike fascism, which glorifies the use of force or the military. You are weclome to cite it, I can easily cite this in fascism. Fascism romanticized the use of military force - its one of its defining features. Marxism never did - their focus was on class revolt and social change inside a country tied to economics. Stalin, unlike Hitler, was deeply concerned with the strenth of his military leading to extreme behavior like the purges and lesser actions such as removing braid from uniforms. Militarism, aside from its negative role in Marxist theory, was the last thing he was interested in.

As for supporting class hiearchy, the whole point (almost the only point) of marxism is to get rid of class.
You need to stop dealing in absolutes. Think of the spectrum of governments and economic systems as a slide graph. You can be anywhere on that graph regardless of what you call yourself. Again, this is the grey area that deals in reality. North Korea is a "communist" country in name, but is actually a fascist state in reality. Iran is a republic in name, but a theocracy in reality. The absolute definition never applies and states routinely share examples from all definable systems and oscillate between them.

I wouldn't argue with you that Russia was Marxist in the 20's and even 30's, however they became a fascist state during the war. The 4 tests of fascism I provided are simply a shortened list of what defines a fascist state; authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism and preserved class hierarchy.

Let's look at Stalinist Russia in 1939:

Authoritarianism - Check. I doubt you would argue with me that Stalin ran an authoritarian state.

Nationalism - Check. Propaganda to build a national Soviet identity began long before the war and reached a crescendo during the war.

Militarism - Check. Stalin purged and re-vamped the Soviet military into a more modern fighting force which was necessary for the preservation of the revolution and the Russian state. While Marxist theory may have abhorred militarism, Stalin had no problem using his military as a means to export the revolution. The Russo-Finnish war and the partitioning of Eastern Europe are further evidence of the militaristic goals of Stalinist Russia.

Preserved Class Hierarchy - Check. No one can argue that the reality of Soviet Russia was far different then what Marx theorized. The party insiders and leaders enjoyed a lifestyle and priviledges not available to the average person and they rigidly defended it.

You are arguing around and around that Stalinist Russia was a Marxist state and they were on the surface, but as I have pointed out all countries exist in the grey area in between. In the case of Stalinist Russia they were decidedly more fascist leaning, especially in the lead up to and actual war period.

We can agree to disagree and stop pulling the thread off-topic. This is a conversation that lends itself poorly to the internet as I don't feel I am capable of adequately illustrating my point. I guess to just sum it up, regardless of what a country defines itself as or the ideals that it strives to achieve, the reality of the countries political system is often very different. If we use the definitions to create a sliding graph of political systems, countries continually oscillate along the graph blending ideals and definitions of different government types based on their current reality and the same goes for economics as well.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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I deal in facts. Marxism and Fascism are the exact opposite of each other philisophically and practically. A point generally accepted by historians and political scientists - as well as by communist and nazis at the time. Large number of Europeans joined he Waffen SS because they saw this as a crusade against communism. The same occured in the Spanish Civil War.

Nuff said
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:30 AM
 
13,591 posts, read 17,043,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
I deal in facts. Marxism and Fascism are the exact opposite of each other philisophically and practically. A point generally accepted by historians and political scientists - as well as by communist and nazis at the time. Large number of Europeans joined he Waffen SS because they saw this as a crusade against communism. The same occured in the Spanish Civil War.

Nuff said
Historians deal in facts. Political Scientists deal in the theory behind what drove people to create those facts.

I think we have the issue of a historian (you) wanting to debate in fact while the political scientist (me) wants to discuss theories.

In the case of Stalin, you can argue that he wasn't a fascist, but you can also equally argue with just as much evidence that he wasn't a Marxist-communist either.

I will leave it with a quote from Trotsky:

"The USSR minus the social structure of the October Revolution would be a fascist state."

It's not a far leap to debate the actual egalatrian nature of the social structure under Stalin that Trotsky is referring to.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
I deal in facts.

Then why am I so frequently having to correct you?
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:58 AM
 
13,591 posts, read 17,043,342 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Then why am I so frequently having to correct you?
...because wikipedia contains numerous errors?
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Historians deal in facts. Political Scientists deal in the theory behind what drove people to create those facts.

I think we have the issue of a historian (you) wanting to debate in fact while the political scientist (me) wants to discuss theories.

In the case of Stalin, you can argue that he wasn't a fascist, but you can also equally argue with just as much evidence that he wasn't a Marxist-communist either.

I will leave it with a quote from Trotsky:

"The USSR minus the social structure of the October Revolution would be a fascist state."

It's not a far leap to debate the actual egalatrian nature of the social structure under Stalin that Trotsky is referring to.
While I am neither anymore, I would be a political scientists if that applied. My research has been in public administration, previously it was in the military and international relations.

This is a thread on weapons not political theory, so its gone far astray.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Then why am I so frequently having to correct you?
Because you are much wiser than I oh great GS

Of course post-positivist, which gain greater influence all the time in academics, assert to speak of "facts" is a misnomer. Because the world is relativistic rather than objective and assumptions guide both search (methods) and interpretation. But while I see their point, like most with academics training I prefer to ignore it. A world without clear, objective reality is too disturbing to maintain.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:49 AM
 
13,591 posts, read 17,043,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
Because you are much wiser than I oh great GS

Of course post-positivist, which gain greater influence all the time in academics, assert to speak of "facts" is a misnomer. Because the world is relativistic rather than objective and assumptions guide both search (methods) and interpretation. But while I see their point, like most with academics training I prefer to ignore it. A world without clear, objective reality is too disturbing to maintain.
Very well stated. Now that the thread is thoroughly off-topic, where did you study?

I have a BA in Political Science and a minor in Economics from Boston College. History, philosophy and theory have been more or less life long interests...but I work in transportation.
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