Why World War Two??

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by von Poop, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I know I'm not alone in spending large amounts of time/money buying books, rattling on & generally mildly obsessing about WW2. I inflict it on my small kids, I drone on to the missus about tanks (while she drones on about allotments), half my friends are ww2 nuts as are most of my immediate family (recently nearly coming to blows with my brother over a disagreement about the M4's suspension!), the sound of Merlin Engines thrills me, the laptop sits in the kitchen almost constantly tuned into forums about it, etc. etc. etc.

    Why?
    What fascinates you about the Second War?
    Why does it continue to do so?

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  2. J_McAllister

    J_McAllister Member

    I understand and know what your going through. It's like a sickness or a disease. I can't seem to get WWII or military conflicts in general out of my brain.

    I'm considering a shrink.
     
  3. Samlind

    Samlind Junior Member

    At 10 years old, I was listening to to the WWII vets sitting in my father's bar (pub). There were guys who served in every theater, every service and even Bill Rassmussen, who was in the Wehrmacht.

    At some point I realized these guys had done something really important, something historic, something phenominal. Ever since then, I've been finding out exactly what that was.
     
  4. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    I got interested when I was a little boy watching the Battle of the Bulge on TV, then going to my Uncle's house finding a German Double Decal Helmet in the basement, He was in the 82nd.

    I continued my interest with Ballantines Illustrated History of World War Two in Paperback for $1.00 a copy. The Nazi Regalia was $3.00. I have a huge collection and later in life finally got to the Imperial War Museum, which was associated with the book series.

    Drank Beer, chased women, got married, had kids and now I'm back to WWII again and am into everything including going to the range, short of putting on a vintage uniform and riding in the woods in a Hanomag on the weekends.
     
  5. Andy in West Oz

    Andy in West Oz Senior Member

    I read a book on the Battle of Britian when I was 10 (20 years ago next month!) and got hooked on WWII aviation. This led to getting into the restoration scene and working on a few projects here in Australia (Tiger Moths, Stearman, B-24 and Beaufort).

    The interest has gone beyond the aviation side of things. Am just fascinated by the era...the events, the music. Being into vintage trucks took me away from WWII for a while but both work really well together even though the truck that I am restoring is 1951.

    Just can't explain the whole thing. It just really strikes a chord with me and always will.

    Btw, great avatar Von Poop!

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    The fascination aspect with WW2 is due to my fathers involvement and where we were brought up was a returned servicemen's housing division. Many were at Tobruk/New Guinea (6th Div) or were Rat's of Tobruk/New Guinea (9th Div).

    They used to have "Sunday School" ( drink a few pints) at alternate houses and they were all great guys.

    I used to watch war movies which prompted me to ask questions and while hesitant at first, many were surprised at my interest and started to respond.

    They have all passed away now however their memory for me is eternal.

    The continuance is having people know that Australians participated and that they should be proud that the "Colonials" stepped up to the plate and fought against the oppressive regimes in both world wars and other conflicts prior to WW1 and post WW2.

    The other is educating those who make uneducated comments as to why Australian infantry were not fighting in Italy, D-Day and through the war in Europe.

    Australians enlisted in the fight in September 1939 and like many others, were still fighting 6 years later.
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Airfix & Matchbox kits.
    Victor, Warlord, Battle comics.
    Action Man & Tommy Gun.

    That's what got me into WW2.

    Finding Uncle Dave's photo & Death plaque got me into The Great War.
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    All of these initial influences are familiar to me, I fall into the 'Battle action picture weekly, action man & indoctrination from an early age' camp myself. And the old story of sitting watching films with Grandad and now wishing I'd listened more to his war stories.

    But why do we keep coming back? Why does the war dominate over so many other periods of history? The most significant factor for me is the sheer scale of the conflict. It just keeps coming no matter how many books read or museums visited. My mind boggles at non-indoctrinated friends dismissing the whole business, nothing, ever, seems to me to have had such enormous ramifications for every aspect of existence, politics, technology, economics etc. etc. etc.
     
  9. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Always been into history from early indoctrination by my mum. Was never really that interested in WW2 except for the Spitifre as a child (I could stand and drool over one all day). Then started to get an interest about 5 years ago after my grandfather died and we tried to find out what he had done in the war, then tracking down what my grandmother did. Then we discovered we are related to Guy Gibson, which kicked off the RAF interest, and paricularly the Dam's Raids.
    Then last year I helped my mum put together a huge VE/VJ Day exhibition in the library (the only one in Cheshire apparently. The Cheshire Regiment were sending people to it!) and just so much came out. I joined the other place around about then to try and track down some information on a warship, and kind of got sucked under.
    Now I have a mild fixation with it, which is beginning to get worryingly intense.
    Any help to cure this would be greatly appreciated as i have 2 more years of university to get through and it's beginning to interfere. ;)
     
  10. Brian C

    Brian C Member

    If university is beginning to interfere with your interest in all things war then there is only one course of action! For your own sanity hang up your pencil case. :)
     
  11. jacobtowne

    jacobtowne Senior Member

    Any help to cure this would be greatly appreciated as i have 2 more years of university to get through and it's beginning to interfere.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no known cure for this malady.:)

    JT
     
  12. drgslyr

    drgslyr Senior Member

    All of these initial influences are familiar to me, I fall into the 'Battle action picture weekly, action man & indoctrination from an early age' camp myself. And the old story of sitting watching films with Grandad and now wishing I'd listened more to his war stories.

    But why do we keep coming back? Why does the war dominate over so many other periods of history? The most significant factor for me is the sheer scale of the conflict. It just keeps coming no matter how many books read or museums visited. My mind boggles at non-indoctrinated friends dismissing the whole business, nothing, ever, seems to me to have had such enormous ramifications for every aspect of existence, politics, technology, economics etc. etc. etc.

    As to why specifically an interest in WW2 over other conflicts throughout history, I think you hit the nail on the head with your own answer: the sheer scale of the war and the number of nations involved.

    Other reasons: one cannot help being drawn in by the extreme behavior and personalities of the participants (Hitler; Stalin; concentration camps; genocide to the masses; etc.) It's kind of like driving by a car crash and not being able to not look.

    I also believe that much interest lies with the fact that the war happened at a time when technology offered the ideal combination of innovative and deadly firepower, while still retaining a sense of the large scale, face-to-face struggle of the common soldier. The further we get from 1945, the more warfare becomes less personal as the stand-off range of weapons becomes greater and more destructive. It's impressive, but less interesting, when the human element is scaled back in favor of the hardware.

    Those are my reasons, which don't necessarily apply to everyone.
     
  13. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    If university is beginning to interfere with your interest in all things war then there is only one course of action! For your own sanity hang up your pencil case. :)

    I would like nothing more, but a degree is essential for a decent wage apparently. :mad:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no known cure for this malady.

    Oh sod.

    There is one thing we have all overlooked in our collective stalking of WW2, we all know veterans or did know them. The war that engulfed the globe is still within living memory, and as such can still be touched.
     
  14. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Reading 'A Bridge Too far' and then becoming hooked on the reasons why a man would jump out of a perfectly working aeroplane (most of the time) or sitting in a wooden glider with no protection at all, apart from the skill of the pilots, Army pilots at that,

    and then reading absolutely everything I could get my hands on, to increase my knowledge of all that happened, and realising that the subject was so vast, I had to concentrate on only one or two aspects,it was either that or buy a bigger house just for the book collection, plus files, war diaires, computer, etc etc!

    and to honour those who paid the ulitmate price by keeping their memory alive by any means possible!

    Andy
     
  15. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    I have no idea why i am into military history and why i especially liked WW2 (liked is the wrong word, but i can't think of a better one). I also have no idea why i want to join the British Army, maybe even into the PIB!!!!! Maybe i'm a patriot, but i don't know at all.
     
  16. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    Have been for a long time not sure exactly what got me into it. I find it more interesting as there are still a lot of vets around and so you can still get the first hand accounts of the events in person. I would say the main reason of facination is (for me anyway) the fact if put in the same position could I (or we as a generation) have handled the situation as well as they did at the time. I could almost say for certaintity that today there will never be the same scale of war and casualties as there was then as people just wouldn't be able to deal with the casualties (you see it in Iraq and Afganistan with the 1 or 2 soldiers killed - don't get me wrong I don't like to see British or other troops die in battle but it is there job and they are in a kill or be killed environment - but when you think 1 Lancaster had a crew of 7 and anything upto a 100 where being lost a night over Germany it does put it all in context).
     
  17. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no known cure for this malady.:)

    JT

    Kitty, Better steer clear of the range and the gun shows too:)
     
  18. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Strangely enough Pete me old Captain, they won't let me anywhere near a gun. Can't think why. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Brian C

    Brian C Member

     
  20. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

     

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