130

I'm not sure there is any direct evidence that it was strategically a bad idea. Strategically it made sense to attack the Soviet Union while they were weak and unprepared for war. Hitler knew that as he made progress on the Western front that Stalin grew more and more nervous every day about the growing power of Nazi Germany. What must be remembered is that ...


99

Despite common misconception, both Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, via the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, respectively. London was under no legal obligation to return them to China. However, most of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong actually consists of the New Territories. That was ...


93

Strange at it may seem, there was a movement called "anti-suffragism" in the U.S. and U.K. composed mainly of women. Their numbers were small, since this posture would have been "counterintuitive." The Americans were composed mainly of "conservative" women who liked the division of duties and society between "domestic" (for women), and "outside," for men. ...


83

Yes, there were. And at the beginning of the women's suffrage movement, suffragettes were viewed by most women as oddities rather than heroic liberators. Basically, centuries ago, due to the technological and economical environment, the family as a unit was much more important than how many people view it today. It was close to impossible to survive (and ...


81

Didn't the British people recognize how ill-suited Chamberlain would be because of his former appeasement? No, because it's not true at all. Chamberlain may certainly be an inadequate war leader, but Appeasement is no evidence for it. If you are suggesting that people might think his earlier Appeasement meant Chamberlain wouldn't fight Germany, there's ...


80

Because Russia had been at war with Britain for most of the preceding two decades. One of Russia's problems in owning Alaska was defending it against it being used as a British route to invade Russia (militarily insane - but that's politics) - remember Canada was British at the time. By selling it to America they installed one of Britain's adversaries in ...


80

No, England would not have been called "England" in the early post-Roman period. The name "England" derives from the Old English name Englaland, which means "Land of the Angles". The earliest recorded use of the term that I'm aware of is in the late ninth century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which had ...


77

In 1606, people didn't have pantone guidelines to keep colours consistent - nor did it matter. Heraldry only has a limited number of colors. Variations on blue exist but are not standard, so any blue could be used. It just so happened that the English were already using a blue, in the Blue Ensign being used by English ships. Wikipedia even suggests its ...


73

It is mostly due to the differing social attitudes of the day, but the legal position was also different in 1936. The Wikipedia page is pretty clear about the social attitudes, but I'll try to explain the legal issues here. In 1936 the Church of England opposed remarriage after divorce. Furthermore, at that time, the Church of England considered adultery to ...


66

By this time, Germany controlled the entire European peninsula, and it was very hard to see the Allied forces coming back from that. Hitler told one of his generals in June 1940 that the victories in western Europe "finally freed his hands for his important real task: the showdown with Bolshevism" [from here]. Reasons to attack the Soviet Union include: ...


65

Because no one in their right minds would think Britain should use a weapon of mass destruction on Argentina over the Falklands, what with its 1600 population. Even then the well documented concept of a nuclear taboo was in effect. No one regarded nuclear bombs as normal bombs, and therefore no one wanted to use it so casually. The Falkland Islands were not, ...


62

From the "contemporary German perspective", the answer is doubtless "Alaric", Juan Pujol García, known to the British as "Garbo". He was paid a total of US$340,000 and awarded the Iron Cross, second class, in July 1944 for his contributions to the war effort. He operated a network that grew to 27 sub-agents in all parts of the UK, communicating via post to ...


59

The Phoney War (Sitzkrieg, Drôle de Guerre, etc.) seems destined to remain one of the great mysteries of history. It is difficult to comprehend now, after the fact, how such an astonishing combination of missed opportunities, wishful thinking, and indecisiveness on the part of not just one, but two great powers, could have carried on for more than half a ...


58

Google Books has a copy of Bradshaw's Guide from 1887. To get to Paris, they recommended one of four options: The numbers in the three rightmost columns are, respectively: approximate first-class fare (in pounds, shillings, and pence); approximate second-class fare; and time (in days and hours.) The absolute quickest door-to-door route was via ...


53

Baden-Powell had been besieged in the town of Mafeking during the Second Boer War. He had formed the Mafeking Cadet Corps, which was a group of youths that supported the defending troops by carrying messages and similar tasks. This freed up men for military duties and kept the boys occupied during the prolonged siege. Back in the UK, the newspapers, had ...


50

There wasn't a lack of food in the UK, not in the sense that people weren't getting enough to eat or were suffering malnutrition. What there was is a lack of variety of food. Anything which was imported (citrus, tropical fruits, tea, coffee, sugar), expensive (meat) or important to the war effort (fats, meat, canned anything) would be rationed. Rationing ...


48

No. Slavery was abolished in 1833 in England. Prior to 1919 women were not property. Not having equal rights doesn't automatically mean slavery. Neither is a woman taking the family name of her husband a sign of slavery. It was (and is) a normal custom that only recently (about 40-30 years ago) changed. It actually is the default, even today, with good ...


46

British policy on the continent has traditionally been to maintain the balance of power (this is also really a general European thing). This amounted to shifting alliances all over the continent. Though France and Britain are "traditional" enemies (as neighbours were wont to be in Europe), they certainly hadn't been at war for anywhere near "close to 1000 ...


45

This depends a bit on the definition of "match": modern rules 90 minutes kicking, level playfield, three referees, 11 players on each side, two nicely timbered goals, etc. Most popular accounts now seem to imply this. If it's that, then it's a resounding no. But bringing a ball to the trenches (in itself quite an astonishing thing to do?) and playing with ...


44

The film said this un-extraordinary working man had the vote, my calculations show it was possible he had the vote. But the 1918 act gave "working men the vote". So one of these 2 statements must be wrong, why didn't working men already have the vote in 1918? These statements are not as contradictory as you seem to think. The key here is that "working men" ...


43

Germany always wanted to attack and defeat Soviet Russia. There is an ideological battle between fascism and communism. Germany really thought that Russia was the enemy of the world. Some Germans believed, such was the evil of communism, that when they started the eastern front, the English would come over to their side to fight communism rather than ...


39

Because it didn't have a choice: it had neither the will to defy the British Government, nor the ability to do so. Remember corporations are not people; its shareholders and directors were. In this case, most of them were British, owning properties and with aspirations in Britain. That alone made resisting a duly constituted Act of Parliament by force ...


36

SHORT ANSWER Jodrell Bank's first 'coup', tracking Sputnik 1 in 1957 (without Soviet assistance), put it in the news and helped secure funding. It also led to a congratulatory telegram from the Soviets. After doubts were expressed about Luna 1 (Jan 1959) being real, the Soviets sent the coordinates for Luna 2 (Sept 1959) to Jodrell Bank head Bernard Lovell ...


35

Actually, in 1938,for most Britons, anywhere East of the Rhine was "a faraway land" of which they knew nothing. Only the rich travelled even to continental Europe; most people took their summer holidays in Margate or Scarborough - my parents had their honeymoon in Slough! The Commonwealth - particularly, I'm afraid, the white Commonwealth (Australia, Canada,...


33

While Queen may refer to both Queen regnant (sovereign) or Queen consort, the King has always been the sovereign. There are historical reasons for this hierarchy --in a long line of English monarchs you will find more Kings than you would find Queens. In fact, if you do not recognize Matilda's and Lady Jane's claim to the throne of England then Queen Mary I ...


33

Traditionally, there had been no conscription in Ireland, at least not after the 17th century. Irish did serve in the British army, but only as volunteers. As an occupying country, Britain did not want to 1) antagonize and 2) train Irish soldiers who would be not loyal to them. Irish volunteers, on the other hand, served with pride so they were self-selected ...


32

One thing I'm not seeing in the answers so far is that having been married prior wasn't the only strike against Wallis Simpson. She: Was not nobility Was not British Had been divorced not once, but twice. Was rumored to have cheated on both husbands. One of these dalliances reportedly resulted in an aborted pregnancy via Mussolini's brother-in-law. Morality ...


32

Actually, by 1881 the use of children as chimney sweeps had been abolished in the UK. In 1840, the UK Parliament had passed a revised Chimney Sweeps Act which had raised the minimum age at which children could be "apprenticed" to chimney sweeps to 16. Unfortunately, the act was never enforced, and it was widely ignored. Finally, the Chimney Sweepers Act ...


31

Churchill was not Prime Minister when the MRP was announced or when it went into effect. He wasn't even in the government at all. He was in Parliament, but mostly an exile due to his bellicose views. It was the war that forced the Conservative government to take him in, and he didn't become Prime Minister until after France was invaded, well after the carve-...


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