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seen Apr 7 at 18:59

please delete me


Dec
9
comment What were the factors that aided Margaret Thatcher in her victory against the trade unions when her predecessors failed?
yes - I suspect "all of the above" is the correct answer!
Dec
9
comment What were the factors that aided Margaret Thatcher in her victory against the trade unions when her predecessors failed?
How much was ideological (hatred of socialism) tactical (destroy the unions and destroy labour's funding) and how much strategic (new economy, new Britain, new party) will be debated for another few decades
Oct
6
comment Why did the Germans fall behind the Americans in the development of the atomic bomb after an initial lead?
The project was transferred to the ministry of education and downgraded at about the time of Stalingrad - anything that couldn't produce a quick victory was sidelined. The documentation for this is extensive.
Oct
6
comment Did Heisenberg undermine the German atomic bomb by deliberately hiding his expertise from the Nazis?
WH's account of the meeting is very different. He claimed to be trying hint to Bohr that the Germans had made very little progress - in the hope that the allies wouldn't use the weapon on them. Bohr, who wasn't familiar with the details of the bomb project at the time, misunderstood it to be WH saying that Germany would soon have a bomb. WH deeply admired Bohr and was very upset at the outcome of the meeting. (WH autobio quoted in Richard Rhodes book)
Aug
30
comment How widespread were major dynasties which did not follow agnatic succession or male primogeniture?
Anglo-saxon England kingship was contested by major families rather than automatically to the eldest son - that doesn't start until the Normans.
Aug
30
comment Were Greek columns hollow?
@ovi - buckling is a technical term for how tubes fail under compression. ie. what happens when you squash a beer can
Jun
9
comment Were railroads indispensable to American economic development?
In terms of pure $$ of freight carried they probably didn't matter - and probably don't today. But in making the west coast feel that it is part of the same country as Washington they were as indispensable as telecoms or TV is now
May
26
comment In U.S. military forces, did black soldiers suffer a heavy racial segregation during World War II?
A notorious example en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Chicago_disaster
Apr
24
comment Why didn’t Britain use its vast navy to get past trench warfare?
Britain did manage a rather effective blockade of German overseas trade.
Apr
13
comment Most fought over piece of land?
Jerusalem has to be in the running
Apr
4
comment What were the German “general” ranks in World War II?
@Drux en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_to_eleven
Apr
4
comment What were the German “general” ranks in World War II?
@Drux - our generals go upto 11
Mar
19
comment How far could an English war bow shoot?
@BramVanroy at long range the archers weren't trying to hit a target. They were fired up in volleys to rain down on men, and more importantly horses, although at that range they wouldn't penetrate armour
Feb
26
comment Why have officers in the U.S. army tended to “top out” at the level of Major?
20years ago there was the opposite problem (at least in other Nato armies) there was no private contacts and pay was firmly linked to rank - so any junior officers with useful skills in computers/communications etc were promoted rapidly up the ranks to keep skills in-house
Feb
2
comment Effects of deliberately creating inflation to eliminate domestic debt
Inflation is good for those who owe money, bad for those who own money. Since those making the laws are generally those who own money - inflation is generally seen as bad.
Feb
1
comment Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan?
It's unlikely there would have been a D-Day style invasion - there is no need, Japan is an island. You just have the fleet shell every city within 20miles of the coast to rubble and firebomb every inland city and every farm. With no Japanese navy or airforce to oppose you - you can keep doing this for as many years as you wish with no losses. Any few survivors might be allowed to surrender.
Jan
5
comment What is the basic structure of British Politics?
@Rory - although many of their policies are now to the left of NewLabour, but they are in a coalition with the conservatives So James' "Who Knows" is a reasonable political definition
Jan
1
comment Early medieval urban development
@anixx - but without an emperor. Although if Berlusconi gets back in and appoints his horse to the senate .....
Jan
1
comment Early medieval urban development
@anixx - didn't there stop being a Rome around 475?
Dec
31
comment Early medieval urban development
@anixx - I thought Venice was built C6 by people hiding in the swamps after Rome fell and barbarian hordes were arriving?