Monday, July 16, 2018

More Information.

Many war crimes existed during World War One. On August 19, 1915, the German submarine U-27 was sunk by the British Q-ship HMS Baralong. All German survivors were summarily executed by Baralong’s crew on the orders of Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert or the captain of the ship. The shooting was reported to the media by American citizens. These American citizens were on the board the Nicosia. That ship was a British freighter loaded with war supplies, which was stopped by U-27 just minutes before the incident. On September 24, 1915, Baralong destroyed U-41, which was in the process of sinking the cargo ship Urbino. According to Karl Goetz, the submarine’s commander, Baralong continued to fly the U.S. flag after firing on U-41 and then rammed the lifeboat (carrying the German survivors) sinking it. The German submarine SM U-86 destroyed the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle on June 27, 1918 in violation of international law. Only 24 of the 258 medical personnel, patients, and crew survived. The U-boat captain Helmut Patzig was charged with war crimes in Germany. This happened in 1919. He escaped prosecution by going to the Free City of Danzig beyond the jurisdiction of German courts. One chemical weapon usage occurred during the Second Battle of Ypres (from April 22, 1915 to May 25, 1915). Gas was soon used by all major belligerents in the war. Both sides used chemical weapons causing 1.3 million casualties. For example, the British had over 180,000 chemical weapons casualties during the war, and up to one-third of American casualties were caused by them.

The Russian Army reportedly suffered roughly 500,000 chemical weapon casualties in World War I. These actions are in violation of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare that prohibited their use. Some poison gas came into cities. From 100,000-260,000 civilian casualties came about by chemical weapons during WWI. Many people had skin and lung damage as a product of chemical warfare. British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig wrote in his diary, "My officers and I were aware that such weapons would cause harm to women and children living in nearby towns, as strong winds were common in the battlefront. However, because the weapon was to be directed against the enemy, none of us were overly concerned at all." That is really an evil comment. During WWI, there was the genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population. Many Armenians were murdered, deported, mass executed, or walked to death by force in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. The people who carried out the Armenian genocide were Ottoman Turks. The Ottomans did this evil and exploited Armenian resistance to evil as a justification of further extermination. 

In early 1915, a number of Armenians volunteered to join the Russian forces and the Ottoman government used this as a pretext to issue the Tehcir Law (or Law on Deportation), which authorized the deportation of Armenians from the Empire's eastern provinces to Syria between 1915 and 1918. The Armenians were intentionally marched to death and a number were attacked by Ottoman brigands. While an exact number of deaths is unknown, the International Association of Genocide Scholars estimates 1.5 million. The Turkey government today denied the genocide, but most historians acknowledge the existence of the Armenian genocide. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks. Some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination. Many pogroms accompanied the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Russian Civil War. 60,000–200,000 civilian Jewish people were killed in the atrocities throughout the former Russian Empire (mostly within the Pale of Settlement in present-day Ukraine). Many German invaders murdered French and Belgium civilians. The German army executed over 6,500 French and Belgian civilians between August and November 1914, usually in near-random large-scale shootings of civilians ordered by junior German officers. The German Army destroyed 15,000–20,000 buildings—most famously the university library at Louvain—and generated a wave of refugees of over a million people. Over half the German regiments in Belgium were involved in major incidents. 8 million men surrendered and were held in POW camps throughout the war. The Ottoman Empire often treated POWs badly. Many prisoners were starved to death in Russia. The International Red Cross tried to help POWs.

One large legacy of World War One is its advanced weapons and technological devices. Some 19th century tactics clashed with 20th century technology. The modernization of the telephone, wireless communication, armored cars, tanks, and aircraft flourished. From cannons in 1914 to machines guns in 1917, technology evolved. Field telephones and aircraft were used in the war. Germany was far ahead of the Allies in using heavy indirect fire. The German Army employed 150 mm (6 in) and 210 mm (8 in) howitzers in 1914, when typical French and British guns were only 75 mm (3 in) and 105 mm (4 in). The British had a 6-inch (152 mm) howitzer, but it was so heavy it had to be hauled to the field in pieces and assembled. The Germans also fielded Austrian 305 mm (12 in) and 420 mm (17 in) guns and, even at the beginning of the war, had inventories of various calibres of Minenwerfer, which were ideally suited for trench warfare. Gas masks were used to protect themselves from chemical attacks. WWI also saw the introduction of light automatic weapons and submarine guns, like the Lewis Gun, the Browning automatic rifle, and the Bergmann MP18. The German army used the new weapon of the flamethrower. German U-boats, blimps, and other water naval vehicles were commonplace. Fixed wing aircraft were first used militarily by the Italians in Libya on October 23, 1911 during the Italo-Turkish War for reconnaissance, soon followed by the dropping of grenades and aerial photography the next year. Balloons were used for reconnaissance. To shoot down enemy planes, anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft were developed. Strategic bombers were created, principally by the Germans and British, though the former used Zeppelins as well. Towards the end of the conflict, aircraft carriers were used for the first time, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a raid to destroy the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in 1918.

The era of 1849 to 1865 represented some of the most important occurrences in American history. Social justice has always been enacted by courageous actions not by centrism or appealing to the center. This time period of American history is one of the most crucial phases of our history in general. This era defined our nation for future generations and expanded the federal government to protect the human rights of black people and other minorities. This epoch of time additionally had heroes who fought back against the tyranny of slavery too. Sojourner Truth spoke truth to power in desiring freedom for black people and women. Harriet Tubman freed any black people who experienced unjust, cruel bondage along with chains plus torture. Frederick Douglass also spoke up to condemn the hypocrisies of America while believing in fighting for justice. The U.S. Civil War changed America forever. Families were split and battles were bloody and destructive. Black Union soldiers were key in causing a Union victory. The large resources of the Union ultimately defeated the Confederacy. The Confederate enemy promoted racism and slavery (as found in their own wicked state documents), but their evils didn’t prevail. The Union won the American Civil War by 1865. President Abraham Lincoln evolved to be more progressive as time when on and he gave his eloquent Gettysburg Address in 1863 to advocate for a new birth of freedom for American society. On April of 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was unjustly assassinated by the murdering racist John Wilkes Booth (who was born in the Bel Air, Maryland and his parents were from Britain).  After Lincoln’s death, the era of Reconstruction would transpire. Black people were free from legalized slavery during Reconstruction, but it wouldn’t be until one whole century after the U.S. Civil War ended until Jim Crow apartheid would be obliterated. From the Gold Rush to the birth of new religions in America (like Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, etc.), American culture is fully characterized by dynamic happenings. That why the flourishing of cultural diversity is the lifeblood of American existence. 1865 defined how we exist today with the expansion of the federal government to legitimately defend human rights and the beginning of a new era of American history. As time went onward, more human beings would fight for their inherit human rights heroically too. 

By Timothy

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