937 reputation
512
bio website twitter.com/EvanHarper
location London, Canada
age 27
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen Oct 15 at 14:26

I am Evan Harper, a student developer. I am mostly a .NET programmer at the moment, but at various times I've been into C, Java, Python, JavaScript, and others. I enjoy history, chess, beer, sushi, and Team Fortress 2. :-)

Education: Fanshawe College.

Current employer (July 2013): TC Media.

All opinions are mine alone.


Sep
27
comment Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?
Of course he can't. This answer is total nonsense.
Jul
14
comment Why did Nazi soldiers do Hitler's bidding?
Coming back to this years later after trying to Google something else, I have to say that I was wrong and @SamuelRussell was right. Few German soldiers were ranting fanatics like Hitler, but it was a deeply ideological army, and ordinary Landser were fairly steeped in hatred. The contrary view is very convenient and widely held today (hence upvotes) but it doesn't stand up under good modern scholarship. The top answer recommending Soldaten is a good one; read it and you'll see how ideological the ordinary Landser really was.
Sep
10
comment Why did the Germans wait until it was too late to reinstate their unrestricted submarine warfare in WWI?
Starving out the enemy was a perfectly practical strategy which very nearly worked. Starving out Britain would have been enough to win the war, since Britain, France, and Russia together were barely able to hold the Germans back. Also, 400k is the total figure for excess German civilian mortality during the war years, not the figure "attributed directly to the blockade."
Mar
15
comment Are there any records that indicate a submarine vs submarine battle?
This answer is straightforwardly incorrect. Dozens of German U-boats were sunk by Allied submarines in World War I, which in turn sunk several Allied subs.
Dec
21
comment Who is responsible for the partition of Palestine?
Deir Yassin is obviously the biggie, but Benny Morris counts twenty-four distinct massacres. The events and Lydda/Ramleh for instance probably took more lives than Deir Yassin. Obviously attribution of responsibility for the '48 Palestinian exodus is a still a thorny historical issue.
Dec
21
comment Who is responsible for the partition of Palestine?
The UN certainly did not force a two-state solution on anyone. The UN general assembly passed a non-binding resolution that was essentially dead on arrival, and it became clear that the fate of the two communities would be decided on the battlefield. By the time the international phase of the 1947-49 war got well underway, both sides were aiming for a "one-state solution", ie, conquering all of the former Mandate territory. The partition happened because the Arab armies were defeated, but managed to hang on to some rump territories. The UN was basically left to pick up the pieces afterwards.
Dec
16
comment Why the USSR insisted on ban of the 1943 German film Munchhausen in Nuremberg?
My answer doesn't show direct documentary evidence, it's true. But it does show that Stalin abhorred sexuality in film and sought Soviet film to portray great Russian monarchs from history in a positive light. Which seems very likely relevant to why his government banned a film that slandered Catherine the Great in crude sexual terms!
Oct
2
comment Was “Blitzkrieg” at least partly intended for trapping the Jews?
This is simply false. My copy of The Wages of Destruction, appendix A5, has the last German grain harvest before the war at 29.6 million tonnes, falling to a low of 22.7 in 1942-43. Domestic consumption outstripped domestic production for each year of the war. As for the ghettoes being able to feed themselves: I'm not sure that's true, but to the extent that it is, that was precisely the problem by Nazi lights. Every grain of wheat bartered for on the black market by an unfortunate ghetto dweller was a grain that didn't go to feeding a German soldier or an ostarbeiter.
Aug
21
comment Is there any footage and/or photos of Germans surrendering towns and cities in the Western Front?
Outside of the fighting in Germany itself (where surrender ceremonies could hardly be expected to have been festive), the Western Front was basically an intense, bitterly contested battle in a narrow area around Normandy, followed by an almost unopposed exploitation into open country. Except for fortified ports, there weren't many "surrender ceremonies" as such, just Allied patrols cautiously driving into some town, to be immediately mobbed by joyous crowds of civilians (sometimes amidst sniper fire, even.) More typical would be some kind of liberation ceremony held by the town authorities.
Aug
19
comment How was occupied France governed during World War II?
The Germans did not "set up" L'État Francais and it was not generally viewed as German collaborators until it became convenient to do so after 1944. In reality it was a popular, more or less legal régime (in terms of its establishment, I mean, not its actions) and acted in accordance with a plausible interpretation of French national interest. Also, merely being an "official" was by no means an offence of indignité nationale -- somebody had to make the trains run on time, right? Specific positive acts of voluntary collaboration were punished, as was membership in the fascist parties.
Aug
18
comment Why was language not used to establish dominance throughout England 1066 AD–1360s CE?
You know what, that's fair, I was a bit harsh. I toned it down.
Aug
18
comment Why was language not used to establish dominance throughout England 1066 AD–1360s CE?
But that was a mass migration, it's an apples to oranges comparison. There wasn't a genocide as such but the Celts were pushed out to the fringes and reduced to slavery in the core. The Normans, though, merely took over the very upper stratum of society. It's like comparing the Quebecois to the Native Americans -- sure they were both conquered by the English, but their situations were very different. As for the written language being subsumed, that's a totally different situation -- writing was a high-status activity confined to specialized uses by a tiny élite.
Aug
9
comment Did Japan ever pay Russia war reparations after WW2? Why or why not?
How much did the reparations amount to as a share of Japanese GDP? And I assume we're talking 1951 GDP or later, because Japan's 1945 GDP must have been tiny (almost all major cities burned out, all harbours and straits mined, battleships arbitrarily shelling the coastline at will, etc etc)...
Aug
6
comment Why is Alexander Hamilton considered the father of modern banking?
If you're interested in the subject I highly recommend Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton. It's a good balance of vivid, colourful details about the man himself with an overview of his role in developing American finance and public credit. He's an incredibly important figure in American history, but widely underappreciated by the popular culture.
Jul
28
comment What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?
-1, question is easy and boring. Can't imagine why this was voted up...
Jul
26
comment Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?
By this "logic," the states have the power to do anything not specifically mentioned in the constitution.
Jul
8
comment Why did Nazi soldiers do Hitler's bidding?
-1. While it seems paradoxical, it is not accurate that most rank-and-file German soldiers, even those who committed tremendous atrocities, were motivated by ideological hatred. The key factors were deference to authority ("just following orders") and group-think. (In fairness this is somewhat controversial, you have the Goldhagen followers who insist that it all happened because German culture was fanatically antisemitic, but the Christopher Browning "Ordinary Men" school of thought predominates.)
Jul
7
comment Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?
I don't understand what you mean by "real skyscrapers." Both Rotterdam and Warsaw have ~20 buildings of more than 100m height. And I didn't mention land cost.
Jul
7
comment Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?
Not posting an answer because I don't have a source, but I would guess that it has to do with the large density of historic buildings in the cores of European cities, which they don't want to bulldoze. Paris for instance has a large concentration of skyscrapers in La Défense on the outskirts. Note that Rotterdam and Warsaw, cities which were substantially destroyed in WW2, both have an unusually high density of skyscrapers by European standards.
Jul
6
comment What is the basis for the claims that the word “Israel” means “Exiled for their sins”?
Well, for arguments sake, one could always say that Israel or a name similar to it came first from some other source, and then the authors of Genesis created a new etymology more suitable for their own purposes. A kind of "how the leopard got its spots" story, y'know? That said, I've never heard of this "exiled for their sins" business, and like you said it sounds way too pat.