RCH: the Christmas Battles in Latvia

That’s the subject of this weekend’s column over at RealClearHistory. An excerpt:

9. The battles didn’t actually take place on Christmas Day. They actually occurred in early January. However, under the old czarist Julian calendar, the battles occurred over the Christmas season, from Dec. 23-29. The Germans were caught by surprise because even though it was January in the West, it was Christmas season in Russia and the Germans believed the Russians would be celebrating their Christmas rather launching a major counter-offensive.

And

3. The Siberians were eventually slaughtered. The Siberians who refused to fight were not necessarily betraying their Latvian brothers-in-imperium. They knew they were cannon fodder. And, indeed, when the Siberians finally went to reinforce the Russian gains made, they were greeted with a massive German counter-offensive. The Siberians (and others) were left for dead. They received no food, no weapons, and no good tidings of comfort and joy.

Please, read the rest (and tell your friends about it). It’s my last post at RCH for the year, so there’s lots of links to other World War I-themed articles I wrote throughout 2018.

RCH: Vietnam War armistice, Southeast Asian kingdoms, and abolitionism in America

I’ve been behind on links to my RealClearHistory columns. So, without further adieu:

and

Nightcap

  1. Plot 6, Row C, Grave 15 (the First World War) Malcolm Gaskill, London Review of Books
  2. Toyi-toyi Melissa Twigg, BBC
  3. Administrative Law Is Bunk. We Need a Bundesverwaltungsgericht Michael Greve, Liberty Forum
  4. Beer, and economic determinism Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling

Nightcap

  1. Armistice Day John Quiggin, Crooked Timber
  2. The Second Hundred Years’ War Nick Nielsen, The View from Oregon
  3. When the World Tried to Outlaw War Stephen Wertheim, the Nation
  4. Blood, Oil, and Citizenship Kenan Malik, Guardian

100 years after World War 1

In the five weeks since the Germans first requested peace negotiations, half a million casualties had been added to the war’s toll. As the delegates talked, Germany continued to collapse from within: inspired by the Russian Revolution, workers and soldiers were forming soviets, or councils. Bavaria proclaimed itself a socialist republic; a soviet took over in Cologne.

And:

But can we really say that the war was won? If ever there was a conflict that both sides lost, this was it. For one thing, it didn’t have to happen. There were rivalries among Europe’s major powers, but in June, 1914, they were getting along amicably. None openly claimed part of another’s territory. Germany was Britain’s largest trading partner. The royal families of Britain, Germany, and Russia were closely related, and King George V and his cousins Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II had all recently been together for the wedding of Wilhelm’s daughter in Berlin.

There is more here. Isolationism, or non-interventionism, often sounds good to American libertarians when World War I is brought up and discussed. And who can blame us? I think, though, that non-interventionism is one of the least libertarian positions you could take on matters of foreign policy.

I got an email the other day from an (American) economist who said that he wasn’t an isolationist because he favored free trade and open migration. Instead, he resolutely trotted out the same old dogma that he was a non-interventionist. I’ve got to bury this cognitive failure on the part of American libertarians.

Nightcap

  1. Russell Brand: a host who (surprisingly) demands intellectual honesty Graham McAleer, Law & Liberty
  2. What linguistics can tell us about talking to aliens Sheri Wells-Jensen (interview), Scientific American
  3. World War I and British fantasy literature Iskander Rehman, War on the Rocks
  4. The history of Ireland has moved out of its traditional comfort zones Patrick Walsh, History Today

RCH: 10 key World War I events in October

I’ve been busy in real life, so my weekend column over at RealClearHistory is a bit lightweight, but I thought some good stuff came out of it. I can definitely build off of it in future columns. An excerpt:

4. Battle of Fort Dipitie (1915). In October of 1915 the United States had managed to keep out of the tragic events going on in Europe, but Washington had still managed to find military action in its backyard, as troops had been sent to Haiti at the behest of the island nation’s dictator, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. The Battle of Fort Dipitie was a relatively minor affair, with only one Marine being wounded and fewer than 100 people dying altogether, but the entire occupation of Haiti by the U.S. military was frowned upon by most of the American public. The occupation of Haiti inspired decorated Marine General Smedley Butler to write his classic 1935 book War is a Racket.

Please, read the rest.