147 reputation
4
bio website
location United Kingdom
age 70
visits member for 1 year, 4 months
seen Mar 16 at 19:41

Retired Chartered Mgmt Accountant. Have since taken a degree and an MA in history. My MA dissertation concerned late-eighteenth century radical gentry in Norwich, sympathetic to the ideals of the French Revolution, and their clandestine journal 'The Cabinet'. I have no experience of linguistics, and my only language other than English is French, in which I am modestly competent. Norfolk Dumpling by birth and upbringing I have an enduring interest in the dialect and have written a good part of the Wikipaedia entry on that subject. Nowadays I strive to speak Received English (though not always using Received Pronunciation). I live in Berkshire.


Mar
15
comment Did the Socialist and the Fascist party share the electoral programme in Italy?
You are quite right that it was Mussolini's opposition to the Italian Socialists' policy of neutrality in the war which caused his break with the party. The historian R.J.B.Bosworth believes that it was Mussolini's time spent as an Italian expatriate in Italy, before the first world war, mixing with the Italian community that had imbued him with feelings of nationalism. His father had been a blacksmith and a socialist, and the young Benito had grown up in the socialist way, and was passionately committed to revolution.
Mar
15
comment Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?
@Lohoris The title does not specify that the films have to be American. They appear to be looking for any films which were 'well regarded by American soldiers'. I am certain that most of those films will have been watched by American soldiers at some stage, at least the ones who served in Europe.
Mar
15
revised Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?
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Mar
15
answered Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?
Feb
25
comment Why women in English-speaking world commonly assume husband's family name after marriage, but women in China do not?
My wife is of Han descent, though an overseas Chinese born and brought up in Malaysia (when it was Malaya). It has certainly been the practice in her family for women to retain their maiden names after marriage. Her mother certainly did. Even though my wife has lived most of her life in Britain, and adopts my surname for most things, she still keeps important things, such as her passport in her birth name. It is also quite common for Chinese living in western countries (including such places as Malaysia and Singapore) to take a western Christian name. They therefore often have two names.
Feb
25
comment Why was the government expenditures of the Roman Empire very low compared to modern governments?
They certainly didn't run a National Health Service, performing 2015 state-of-the art surgery free of charge, and costing £110 billion per annum!
Feb
25
comment What lands have been called by names chosen to disassociate those lands from its inhabitants
The position has perhaps come full circle when Iranian students in western countries describe themselves as Persian in order to avoid opprobrium associated with identifying themselves as Iranian.
Feb
19
comment Why were “holding out” outposts a feature of the European war in 1944-5 but not 1940-1?
It also meant that the Italian Navy was not able to get out into the Atlantic where it was needed, and led to its being severely crippled by the joint action of the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy at the battle of Cape Matapan in 1941.
Feb
19
comment Why were “holding out” outposts a feature of the European war in 1944-5 but not 1940-1?
As regards Malta, I think many military historians see Hitler's failure to take Malta and Gibraltar early in the war when he had the opportunity to have been one of his greatest blunders, at least so far as his war in the west was concerned. As things turned out the Royal Navy controlled both entrances to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Port Suez throughout the duration of the war, and the RAF was able to use Malta to bomb the German convoys into North Africa. Without those Mediterranean bases Britain would have found it far more difficult to prevail in the North African campaign.
Feb
19
comment What is known about the possibility of a “real King Arthur”?
Next Friday evening our local Historical Association is hosting a lecture to be given by Anne Lawrence-Mather, a historian of the Early Middle Ages and author of The True History of Merlin the Magician. Merlin was the legendary magician at the court of King Arthur. The hardcover costs £22 from Amazon in the UK or $45 in the US. But you can read the introduction on-line using their 'look Inside' facility. I found that quite interesting.
Feb
19
comment What happened to the french overseas colonies during the beginning of the french revolution?
One of the important things they did during this time period was to abolish slavery. Take a look at the History of Haiti from 1791 onwards and the slave rebellion which let to the Haitian republic. Some French colonies and possessions were lost to Britain during the Napoleonic wars, explaining why French is the official language today in places such as Mauritius.
Feb
19
awarded  Commentator
Feb
19
comment What historical reasons did the Nazi's have to hate the Jews? How did they identify non-practicing Jews?
Could you supply a bibliography of what you have read on this subject please? I would be interested in some references.
Feb
19
comment What historical reasons did the Nazi's have to hate the Jews? How did they identify non-practicing Jews?
You perhaps need to start by reading a history of Europe in the Early Middle Ages. It may help if it has something on the relations between European Jewry and the medieval popes.
Feb
19
comment Impact of the Berlin Wall to GDR
@jwenting The war of 1939 to 45 cost Britain, and the white Commonwealth, casualties of approx. one in every 200 of population. That was the number killed. Germany lost about one in every 45 of its population. Do you happen to know what that figure was for the Soviet Union? They lost one in how many? IT WAS ONE IN EVERY 8! Nearly 30 million were killed by the Nazi killing machine. It is only when you take that fact on board that you will begin to understand Soviet paranoia, and the background to the Cold War with the West.
Feb
18
comment Why did English become Lingua Franca of the modern world?
It was actually only relatively recently that English became the language of international diplomacy. The first great international event at which English was the official language, I think I am right in saying, was the Congress of Berlin of 1878. That was the meting which settled issues in the Balkans, and also divided up Africa. Prior to that French had been the language of diplomacy. Indeed the old British Passports (of the time of my youth) used to have everything written in English and in French. (they now contain the entire multiplicity of languages of the European Union!)
Feb
17
comment Did the USSR use trotskyism as a bogeyman in the post Stalin period?
Trotsky is history's archetypal bogey man. In order to retain popular support you need to keep people in a state of fear, and what better than an 'enemy of the state', someone who Bismarck would have called a Reichsfeinde. He is brilliantly re-created in allegory by George Orwell in Animal Farm in the form of the character Snowball. Constant warnings are given to the animals that Snowball (a little pig) is out there doing his damndest to upset the efforts of the Revolution.
Jan
30
revised Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?
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Jan
30
answered Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?
Dec
14
awarded  Editor