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Old 07-21-2013, 04:45 PM
 
33 posts, read 60,466 times
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Clearly it was Britain over Germany in WWI and then in WWII. Britain was rendered bankrupt by these wars from an already precarious position, and lost its possessions in India and elsewhere shortly after. It made a stand to stop Germany, couldn't finish the job without our, Canada's, Australia's and others' assistance and money, and today Germany stands as one of the few economies in Europe that is actually a real economy and not based on tourism and banking like England (which benefits a few in the city of London). In fact, if you look at the statistics today, the indices of quality of life are higher in Germany than they are in Britain. Discuss.
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:18 PM
 
Location: SE UK
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Do you honestly believe that Britain's are worse off now than they were when Britain had an empire!!!!? lol
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Well, it's certainly true that Britain ended the war exhausted on every level - financial, morale, numbers of combat deaths per capita (much greater than the U.S. suffered on a per capita basis), destruction of civilian infrastructure (very little compared to Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan but not negligible either).
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:48 AM
 
14,021 posts, read 15,022,389 times
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Probably Battle of the Somme, the French Victory destroyed French moral enough so they never launched another offensive until 1918.

The Battle of Bunker hill in 1775 lead to more than 100 British officers to be killed leaving the army in Boston largly without battlefield leadership, and it did nothing to break the siege.
Also Great Britain is in very good shape compared to the rest of Europe, it is never discussed because. It is not in the Eurozone, because the pound sterling is such a strong currency.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:30 AM
 
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I think it would be the French victory over the Germans in World War I. France was bled white in places such as Verdun, so much so that it would not rise to the challenge of Hitler two decades later.

Meanwhile, while the Soviet Union suffered massive casualties and damage in World War II, it would up being a superpower for four decades as a result.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:07 AM
 
33 posts, read 60,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easthome View Post
Do you honestly believe that Britain's are worse off now than they were when Britain had an empire!!!!? lol
Britain in WWI had a few possessions which it did it's level best to exploit, as a resource within its means to exploit, and knowing that it was stretched to the limit not just by the war itself but by the circumstances that led to it including the rise of the 'newly' unified continental power of Germany and the rise of the other export nations of the United States, Japan and other countries newly independent such as Australia and Canada which were forging their own spheres of influence. In WWI, Britain was nearly brought to its knees by the war, and lost more shipping in WWI than in WWII, relatively speaking. The austerity measures introduced in WWI were never really recovered from, even today. You only have to look at the number of goods being made in Germany vs those made in GB that are exported around the world to see the effect of what happened 100+ years ago. There was such poverty and social inequality in GB in the 1900s that 8000 of the 11000 recruits who signed up for the Boer War in Manchester were turned away as unfit for duty. Bismarck's social policies that had been in place for some decades were not adopted by GB until decades later and its attempt to stop Germany failed. While Germany's rise to predominance halted during the 20s and up until the late 40's, from about 1945 to today it has not really wavered and even today there is greater social equality in Germany than in GB, where they still have a royal family. Germany let its nobility keep their titles as a surname only from 1918, but did away with their nobility almost 100 years ago. Britons today have dollar stores, Primark, Tescos, and a royal family - and Burberry. Germany has Krupp, Rimowa, Merc Benz, BMW, B+V, H+K, Nivea, Bayer, Adidas, Puma, Lidl, etc and a real industrial base and export economy. London also has riots.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:05 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,691,956 times
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Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Probably Battle of the Somme, the French Victory destroyed French moral enough so they never launched another offensive until 1918.
The Somme would be my vote for the best example of a pyrrhic victory in the modern era. The French and British suffered 624,000 casualties while inflicting ~450,000 on the Germans. In exchange they gained 6 miles of devastated countryside and didn't achieve a single main objective.

***

As for the people arguing that all of WW1 itself was a pyrrhic victory for Britain and France, I don't buy that. The objectives of the war were gained. Germany was forced out of France and the Low Countries. Germany was not allowed to become a continental "superpower" able to dictate events across Europe. As devastating as the war was, as much as Britain and France suffered and lost because of it, they were still arguably better as the winners than as the losers. If Germany had won they would have taken French territory and colonies. They would have demanded the same from Britain as well as the control of the Channel ports, most likely through the Netherlands and Belgium being absorbed into the German Reich or made a protectorate. Germany would control vast swaths of territory in Eastern Europe. Germany would have been an unrivaled superpower. That was the price of losing. Winning cost a lot, but not that much.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:53 PM
 
33 posts, read 60,466 times
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The Somme would be my vote for the best example of a pyrrhic victory in the modern era. The French and British suffered 624,000 casualties while inflicting ~450,000 on the Germans. In exchange they gained 6 miles of devastated countryside and didn't achieve a single main objective.

***

As for the people arguing that all of WW1 itself was a pyrrhic victory for Britain and France, I don't buy that. The objectives of the war were gained. Germany was forced out of France and the Low Countries. Germany was not allowed to become a continental "superpower" able to dictate events across Europe. As devastating as the war was, as much as Britain and France suffered and lost because of it, they were still arguably better as the winners than as the losers. If Germany had won they would have taken French territory and colonies. They would have demanded the same from Britain as well as the control of the Channel ports, most likely through the Netherlands and Belgium being absorbed into the German Reich or made a protectorate. Germany would control vast swaths of territory in Eastern Europe. Germany would have been an unrivaled superpower. That was the price of losing. Winning cost a lot, but not that much.
It was undoubtedly a pyrrhic victory for Britain as it led to Versailles and WWII and the advent of the SU in Europe as the dominant continental power, for some decades. Today however, Britain seems to have lost its battle with Germany, with the latter country dominating indices for quality of life, education and export industry. In fact, without US and Canadian/Australian help in WWI and WWII, Britain would have lost both wars, and there is little credible argument in the literature that it could have won either war or even survived itself without these countries pitching in wholesale to rescue GB. As a result, Britain has been in debt for many decades and remains very much like it was in the 20th C, a country behind the 8 ball economically.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:22 PM
 
3,910 posts, read 9,471,842 times
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What about Germany in WW1 on the Eastern front? After largely defeating the Russians by 1917 and capturing most of Eastern Europe, the Russians signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and ceded vast Russian territories to the Germans. Basically, everything west of Moscow went under German control until the end of the war. The Germans won the war in the east, but lost in the west. As a result of losing in the west, the Germans were forced to not only give back all of the land they gained, but they actually lost land compared to before the war began.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:45 PM
 
14,021 posts, read 15,022,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenski View Post
Britain in WWI had a few possessions which it did it's level best to exploit, as a resource within its means to exploit, and knowing that it was stretched to the limit not just by the war itself but by the circumstances that led to it including the rise of the 'newly' unified continental power of Germany and the rise of the other export nations of the United States, Japan and other countries newly independent such as Australia and Canada which were forging their own spheres of influence. In WWI, Britain was nearly brought to its knees by the war, and lost more shipping in WWI than in WWII, relatively speaking. The austerity measures introduced in WWI were never really recovered from, even today. You only have to look at the number of goods being made in Germany vs those made in GB that are exported around the world to see the effect of what happened 100+ years ago. There was such poverty and social inequality in GB in the 1900s that 8000 of the 11000 recruits who signed up for the Boer War in Manchester were turned away as unfit for duty. Bismarck's social policies that had been in place for some decades were not adopted by GB until decades later and its attempt to stop Germany failed. While Germany's rise to predominance halted during the 20s and up until the late 40's, from about 1945 to today it has not really wavered and even today there is greater social equality in Germany than in GB, where they still have a royal family. Germany let its nobility keep their titles as a surname only from 1918, but did away with their nobility almost 100 years ago. Britons today have dollar stores, Primark, Tescos, and a royal family - and Burberry. Germany has Krupp, Rimowa, Merc Benz, BMW, B+V, H+K, Nivea, Bayer, Adidas, Puma, Lidl, etc and a real industrial base and export economy. London also has riots.
Germany did not decide to get rid of it's royals, the Allies ordered that the Kaiser be unseated and many wanted him killed.
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