Category Archives: World War II

Leadership displayed via Fighting Power … via D-Day And the Normandy Operations

Cross posted at Thoughts on Military History ,  24 September 2011, with this title “Fighting Power as the Arbiter of Leadership Effectiveness”

In an era of fourth generation warfare where the achievement of strategic end-goals lay squarely at the feet of politicians, the application of fighting power as a militaries core war fighting capability is being increasingly questioned with a concentration on Counter Insurgency (COIN) and Peacekeeping Support Operations (PSO). For example, Colonel Gian Gentile has lamented on the death of the US Armor Corps as the US Army moves to an infantry-centric force grounded in population centric COIN.[1] This has left it, in Gentile’s opinion, unable to produce effective fighting power. This raises the important question of how fighting power is defined and how it affects of the study of leadership.

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Colossal Kills on All Fronts in 1944/45, World War II

Michael Roberts

In venturing into reflections on VE Day commemorations, by pure chance I stumbled on You Tube reviews of the ways in which German POWs were dealt with in Britain during and after the war. This data base also provides partial information on the enormous loss of life on the various moments in the Western front as the Allied forces advanced on Germany after D Day in June 1944.

 Hitler Germany’s greatest reach 1942

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Holy War Unmasked

 Brian Victoria …… Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?

The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.

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War: Its Stark Truths

Richard Koenigsberg

Wars are fought–soldiers die–to testify to the truth of a society’s sacred ideal. If so many people die for an ideology—it must be real.

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Michael’s Testimony for VE Day in Britain, 8th May 1945

Michael Roberts

Tears rolled down my eyes in profound sorrow and joy as the news media on TV and computer-script dwelt on the VE commemorations in Britain — Yesterday and Today 8th and 9th May 2020. Perhaps that may surprise some readers. So …… let me clarify.

Yes, I was only seven years old or thereabouts then in 1945. Yes, I was resident in the Fort area within the town of Galle in the island of Ceylon …. not in Britain or Europe. So, how is that event so meaningful …. and so profound in my thinking-mould. Continue reading

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VE Day, 8 May 1945 …. as Nazi Germany Surrenders: In Pictures

The King and Queen of Britain with Winston Churchill in between and Princess Elizabeth nd Princess Margaret on the flanks

 Churchill waves to the crowds below

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Edmund Leach: Biographical Studies from Tambiah and Others

Adam Kuper  in London Review of Books Vol. 24 No. 10 · 23 May 2002

  • Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life by Stanley Tambiah
    Cambridge, 517 pp, £60.00, February 2002, ISBN 0 521 52102 5
  • The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. I: Anthropology and Society by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw
    Yale, 406 pp, £30.00, February 2001, ISBN 0 300 08124 3
  • The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. II: Culture and Human Nature by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw
    Yale, 420 pp, £30.00, February 2001, ISBN 0 300 08508 7

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Forebodings Associated with Place: ‘Slaughterhouse’ Battlefields

Paul Murray, in West Australian, 8 October 2017,where the title reads Brutal bayonet charge at Battle of 42nd Street hidden in grim landscape”

by PETER MONTEATH ….Published: 1st November 2019 ….  ISBN: 9781742236032

It seems illogical to think that places could retain a memory. Surely they can only invoke one? But we’ve all been somewhere that the surroundings — the place itself — made us feel uncomfortable, perhaps for no particular reason. That creepy, uneasy sensation that something is not quite right there. My strongest experience was visiting Culloden in Scotland, the scene of a gruesome massacre in which military incompetence sacrificed a thousand soldiers supporting the Scottish Jacobites — many with little personally invested in the outcome — pitted against their new Hanoverian rulers.

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Koggala in the Western Imperial Design in the 20th Century, 1931 onward

Michael Roberts

The recent political debate on SOFA, MCC etc (see Roberts 2019)  highlights the place of KOGGALA in the Western imperial map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The British airfields at Katunayake Trinco and Koggala were part of the imperial defence system – a geo-political ensemble that became even more significant after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in WW Two marked vulnerabilities not envisaged till then.

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DS Senanayake’s Life and Times by KM de Silva … hits the island roads

Press Release from the ICES at Kandy

The ceremonial launch of two publications of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES, Kandy) titled, respectively, as The Life of D. S. Senanayake (1884-1952): Sri Lanka’s First Prime Minister, by Prof. K. M. de Silva, and its Sinhala version,  D.S: Sri Lankaway Prathama Agraamaathya, by Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, was held in Kandy on 3 October 2019 in the presence of a large gathering invited by Prof. Upul Dissanayake, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, who sponsored the event in collaboration with the staff of the ICES.

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