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Thread: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

  1. #1
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    Default Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Partisans are popular breed in last 100 years. Although initially appearing in WW1 they made their reputation in WW2 in France and especially Russia and Yugoslavia. Later incarnations occurred in suicide bombers in Iraq etc.
    Lets look closer at ww2 era. France declared war on Germany. Germany, in response, attacked and successfully occupied France. Partisans had the opportunity to fight (and loose) in French Army. But they decided instead to sneak attack unarmed German rear services and destroy infrastructure hurting thereby the German struggle for survival.

    In Russia same happened, they could have fought (and lost) with Red Army. But they cowardly decided to attack German rear-guard. Forgotten soldier by Guy Sayer, among many other accounts, describes war crimes against German soldiers usually including body mutilations - and regularly provoking response by SS against local population harboring partisans. Strangely enough, they are not condemned for this illegal, immoral and criminal behavior and are recognized by victors as - freedom fighters to be celebrated eternally - without any staint. From the eyes of common Landser they represented ferocious and cowardly danger which lurked from the shadows. Since no Geneva conventions applied in Russia its hard to asses but Wehrmacht (not SS) usually abstained from war crimes.

    In Iraq, however, when victorious USA attacked Iraq (which previously DID NOT declare war on USA) partisans are no longer freedom fighters. No, they became...INSURGENTS and TERRORISTS striped of any rights what so ever.

    Or to give another -more direct example- partisans fighting in Russia were freedom fighters (despite fighting for communist regime) but those fighting in Vietnam/North Korea are communist bastards and evil doers


    Is this another example of Allied hypocracy or my feet stink ?
    Last edited by witman111; 06-07-2013 at 03:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Partisans are popular breed in last 100 years. Although initially appearing in WW1 they made their reputation in WW2 in France and especially Russia and Yugoslavia. Later incarnations occurred in suicide bombers in Iraq etc.
    Lets look closer at ww2 era. France declared war on Germany. Germany, in response, attacked and successfully occupied France. Partisans had the opportunity to fight (and loose) in French Army. But they decided instead to sneak attack unarmed German rear services and destroy infrastructure hurting thereby the German struggle for survival.
    The "German struggle for survival?" "F" their struggle for survival. What about the struggle for survival of the Russians under their occupation? "Sneak attack?" You mean like the ones on Poland and the Soviet Union? Sneak attack is often otherwise known as "ambush" in actual military parlance not used by ignorant Neonazi trolls...

    In Russia same happened, they could have fought (and lost) with Red Army. But they cowardly decided to attack German rear-guard. Forgotten soldier by Guy Sayer, among many other accounts, describes war crimes against German soldiers usually including body mutilations - and regularly provoking response by SS against local population harboring partisans. Strangely enough, they are not condemned for this illegal, immoral and criminal behavior and are recognized by victors as - freedom fighters to be celebrated eternally - without any staint. From the eyes of common Landser they represented ferocious and cowardly danger which lurked from the shadows. Since no Geneva conventions applied in Russia its hard to asses but Wehrmacht (not SS) usually abstained from war crimes.
    Really? What about the "war-crimes" of the Einsatzgruppen who just seemed to murder Jews and Soviets for fun? Since when did the Wehrmacht/SS follow the Geneva Convention when they knowingly would have to starve the Soviet population and POW's to achieve any sort of victory?

    In Iraq, however, when victorious USA attacked Iraq (which previously DID NOT declare war on USA) partisans are no longer freedom fighters. No, they became...INSURGENTS and TERRORISTS striped of any rights what so ever.
    The U.S. also dealt with the "insurgents", at least the secular Baathist Sunnis during the "Surge" and won them over to the govt's side...

    Or to give another -more direct example- partisans fighting in Russia were freedom fighters (despite fighting for communist regime) but those fighting in Vietnam/North Korea are communist bastards and evil doers


    Is this another example of Allied hypocracy or my feet stink ?
    Um, no. Not really. Because the Allies weren't busy massacring everyone and putting Jews, Gypsies, communists, socialist, anti-Nazi Germans, etc., into gas chambers or throwing them into mass pits to be gunned down.

    BTW, your troll sucks. D+, slacker. I'm pretty sure your feet stink, as does your bullshit moral false equivalency and revisionism...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-07-2013 at 08:25 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Some of us seem to live in a strange world. Irregular forces of various sorts, including "franc tireurs" have been a feature of warfare for a very long time. The saying, "All's fair in love and war" has quite a lot to be said for it. We owe the controversy over whether partisan warfare is legimitate to a very large extent to Karl von Clausewitz. As an idealistic young Prussian officer, he enlisted (against his government's wishes) with the Russians to fight Napoleon's 1812 invasion, and witnessed the second half of the 1812/1813 campaign, which largely involved Kutuzov's main Russian army shadowing the Grand Armťe to keep it on the ravaged course of its original invasion, constantly harassed by Cossacks and light Russian cavalry. The experience of Cossack warfare had a lasting influence on Clausewitz, who imported his bias against irregular warfare into his very influential future literary and educational work. This strain of Clausewitz goes a long way to explaining the German attitude to "franc tireurs" in the Franco-Prussian War and in the two World Wars.

    Another factor was the development of international law defining concepts like "legitimate combattant". While well-intentioned, this set a barrier between regular combattants and partisans/irrregulars. A nice idea - but quite unrealistic in the context of struggles for national survival, a characteristic of 20th century wars in particular.

    As regards the examples cited, some French, and later Italian resistants had actually taken the field with their nations' armies, and resorted to partisan activities when this formal type of resistance to invaders was no longer practical. The same was true to a much greater extent of Soviet partisans; many Red Army soldiers were left behind by the German Blitzkrieg, and chose partisan resistance as a preferable course to surrender. This seems neither cowardly, nor irrational, to me. In fact, it seems patriotic in the best sense.

    Final comment. I think it was Max Hastings who quoted an SAS veteran who had witnessed his assigned French Resistance unit of over 100 persons and several of his British comrades killed in an anti-Maquis operation by German occupation troops in the South of France. The SAS man opined that we should forget about international laws trying to regulate irregular warfare - or even war crimes - because such phenomena are inevitable in war, have always been around, and must be accepted as a reality of warfare. The really important thing was to work to prevent war. I really think he had a point. Best regards, JR.

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    I call
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Hello, me ould moonshiner ! Does that mean we should shut up ? JR.

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Hello, me ould moonshiner ! Does that mean we should shut up ? JR.
    Not at all neighbor, I was merely answering Witman's question, because as usual, his Bum is out the window.

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    Not at all neighbor, I was merely answering Witman's question, because as usual, his Bum is out the window.
    I need to see an eye doctor.

    I thought your picture was of a foot.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Hello, me ould moonshiner ! Does that mean we should shut up ? JR.
    Not you.

    You make good sense, are very well informed, and balanced.

    I can't imagine why we'd ever want to shut you up (apart from you being Irish, but we're a tolerant board )
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Partisans are popular breed in last 100 years. Although initially appearing in WW1 they made their reputation in WW2 in France and especially Russia and Yugoslavia. Later incarnations occurred in suicide bombers in Iraq etc.
    You fail to define what you mean by partisan.

    The actions of irregular forces in the countries you mention do not all have the same things in common, nor do their predecessors.


    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Lets look closer at ww2 era. France declared war on Germany.
    Yes, those French bastards just woke up one morning and, having nothing better to do than irritate Belgium by encouraging Germany to march through and lay waste to it again on the way to Paris, thought: Letís declare war on poor old Germany, the most docile and inoffensive nation in Europe. Why, Germany hasnít invaded many countries in the last 25 years, and hardly any recently apart from Czechoslovakia and Poland , so letís fire up a major European war by declaring war on Germany, because we really want to lose the flower of our youth for the second time in 25 years, just for the hell of it.

    Whatever youíre smoking, itís not helping your thought processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Partisans had the opportunity to fight (and loose) in French Army.
    Many partisans probably did. So what?

    Many partisans didnít fight in the French Army. So what?

    Ever heard of a thing called patriotism?

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    But they decided instead to sneak attack unarmed German rear services
    Oh, those dastardly French, attacking (allegedly) unarmed German rear services.

    Couple of problems there, old sport.

    One, an army of occupation does not have rear services. Youíre confusing it with an army in the field.

    Two, French partisans attacking (even unarmed) German occupation soldiers falls a long way short of Germans engaged in various activities against unarmed civilians in the East and in German death camps.

    Your perspective seems dangerously skewed in favour of the Nazis, and blind to their crimes. Which, as a moderator, troubles me.

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    and destroy infrastructure hurting thereby the German struggle for survival.
    Geography, among many things, clearly isnít your strong point.

    Look at a map of France.

    That is where the French live (and mercifully for the rest of us, rarely choose to leave).

    Now, think this through on destroying infrastructure.
    1. Francois is French
    2. Francois is a partisan in WWII
    3. Francois lives in France in WWII
    4. Francois engages in partisan activity in France in WWII
    5. Francois does this by actions such as blowing up railway lines
    6. The railway lines are in France, where Francois lives
    7. The railway lines belonged to France before the war
    8. The Germans did not buy the railway lines or otherwise acquire them by legitimate means
    9. Whose infrastructure did Francois destroy?


    Now, think this through on the German ďstruggle for survivalĒ:

    Given that Hitler was the best thing that had ever happened to Germany in the 20th century up to 1939, turning its economy around and raising the living standards of its people, where was the struggle for survival that required Germany to acquire railway lines in France and be upset when the French blew them up, and German soldiers with them?

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    In Russia same happened, they could have fought (and lost) with Red Army.
    My comments on France apply equally.

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    But they cowardly decided to attack German rear-guard.
    Well, only if they escaped the massacres of the Einsatzgruppen.

    And were brave enough to come up against superior and more brutal forces, which is something the Einsatzgruppen never did in murdering civilians.

    You have a disturbingly strange view of cowardice. And history.

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Forgotten soldier by Guy Sayer, among many other accounts, describes war crimes against German soldiers usually including body mutilations - and regularly provoking response by SS against local population harboring partisans.
    You certainly got that arse about.

    Has it occurred to you that the German invader was the aggressor, and that its actions in ridding the world of Eastern untermensch in pursuit of lebensraum provoked the bravest of the survivors to resist?

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Strangely enough, they are not condemned for this illegal, immoral and criminal behavior and are recognized by victors as - freedom fighters to be celebrated eternally - without any staint. From the eyes of common Landser they represented ferocious and cowardly danger which lurked from the shadows. Since no Geneva conventions applied in Russia its hard to asses but Wehrmacht (not SS) usually abstained from war crimes.
    A few points, Sunshine.

    First, Heer, not Werhrmacht. That alone displays your deplorable lack of knowledge.

    Second, you need to brush up on, or more probably have your first contact with, Geneva Conventions relating to non-combatants, treatment of civilians, and which nations as distinct from partisans were signatories to and bound by it.

    As if it mattered to the Einsatzgruppen, anyway.

    Again, as with much of your post, these assertions trouble me as a moderator.

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    In Iraq, however, when victorious USA attacked Iraq (which previously DID NOT declare war on USA)
    I was and remain opposed to the wholly unjustifiable invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US and my country among others, as I do to Germanyís invasions and occupations of various countries, the inhabitants of which and in the East in particular were treated vastly more harshly than were the inhabitants of Iraq by the invader (unlike the brutal treatment they got under Saddam). Unless I missed the bit in Wikileaks where the US and its allies ran death camps exterminating millions in Iraq and had Einsatzgruppen wiping out countless more in the field.


    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    partisans are no longer freedom fighters. No, they became...INSURGENTS and TERRORISTS striped of any rights what so ever.
    And how is this different to the German response?

    Oh, yes, the invaders in Iraq didnít follow the Germany policy in Italy, Yugoslavia and elsewhere of executing ten or more civilians out of hand for each of their soldiers killed.

    Do you really think that there would have been any outcry, or even interest, in Germany 1939-45 if something equivalent to the, compared with what the Germans routinely did on a very large scale in the East, quite minor issue of prisoners being mistreated in Abu Ghraib became public knowledge?

    The outrage in the governments and civilian populations of the Western nations which invaded Iraq when the Abu Ghraib abuses became public is exactly the opposite of the Nazi regime, starting with such odious things as propaganda relegating Jews and disabled people to the status of vermin and worthy of extermination.

    You really need to think things through a lot more before you post.

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Or to give another -more direct example- partisans fighting in Russia were freedom fighters (despite fighting for communist regime) but those fighting in Vietnam/North Korea are communist bastards and evil doers
    And why wouldnít Russians fighting German invaders in Russia be freedom fighters, any less than the same applied in France, Italy and Yugoslavia, among other places?

    As for Vietnam, the USSR (not Russia) steadfastly maintained at the time that it had no troops in Vietnam, although subsequently the intelligence was confirmed that they had some specialist units in North Vietnam, notably anti-aircraft units, where they were perfectly entitled to be as guests of the North Vietnam government, as were the foreign units in the south as guests of the Southís government.

    As to the rest of the Vietnam war, you seem to be under the misapprehension that those fighting the ARVN and the other forces (mainly American, South Korean, Australian and New Zealander) invited by the government of South Vietnam were partisan forces.

    Again, you are quite wrong.

    The Viet Cong or VC were the partisan force, but the North Vietnam Army as it was commonly called (or more accurately in translation the Peoplesí Army of North Vietnam or PAVN) was a regular force engaged in major actions against ARVN and US units, and occasionally others.

    As for communist bastards in Vietnam, you should inform yourself on how the VC compelled local communities to provide support and shelter to them, starting with such brutal tactics as torturing and executing the village headmanís children in front of him. These were not the tactics of the volunteer partisans in France in WWII.


    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Is this another example of Allied hypocracy or my feet stink ?

    Itís long past time to wash your feet and change your socks.


    Mod comment: I sense trolling in your post but, as is my generous nature, Iím giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    Stupidity and ignorance generally wonít get you banned here, but pushing a patently sympathetic pro-Nazi line will.

    Youíve gone close to that line.

    Donít cross it.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I need to see an eye doctor.

    I thought your picture was of a foot.
    The phrase "Bum out the window" is roughly equivalent to "arse about". Or,an error taken to the furthest limits of the definition of egregious.

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    BTW, his name was spelled Wittmann, not Witman (or Witless)...

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    .....
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Whereas the 'Rules'of warfare go aways back,
    .. to delineating between 'civilised'& 'barbarian' combatants in ancient times..

    The current rules were codified during the U.S./C.S.A stoush of the 1860s [anyone seen 'Outlaw Josey Wales'].

    Provision for summary sanctions against irregulars, & reprisals were laid down. [& later used against native tribes too.]

    Churchill, being an inveterate war-monger, wanted to 'set Europe ablaze' by instigating sabotage..
    .. in the sure knowledge that nasty [but legal] responses would inevitably occur..

    Stalin like-wise had those of his subject under German authority..
    .. on warning of treason unless showing active [& risky] 'partisan' action..

    Even the initial USAAF attempts to bomb Japan utilizing China brought savage reprisals..
    .. against the airmen & Chinese civilians alike..

    & the Waffen SS - when captured - found themselves open to 'legal' summary 'execution'
    for being classed as 'criminal brigands'..by the US.. as well as Stalin's mob..

    & of course the Taliban laugh at/despise the current western values today..

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    ...
    Churchill, being an inveterate war-monger, wanted to 'set Europe ablaze' by instigating sabotage..
    .. in the sure knowledge that nasty [but legal] responses would inevitably occur..
    Um, how was Churchill a "war monger?" I've heard many legitimate criticisms of him and I'm hardly a Churchill fanboi. But I don't know if "war monger" would be in any way be a coherent charge and defies all logic. Doesn't one have to actually start a war to be a "war monger?" His "set Europe ablaze" comment was more than just sabotage, it encompassed the use of special operations forces conducting strikes in order to tie-down the maximum number of German occupation troops in the West. Certainly they were aware that "nasty responses" would occur. But I was wondering on what legal basis the German SS operated when it, say, wiped out an entire Czech village in retaliation for the (very legal) assassination of Reinhard Heydrich?

    It just seems like you're giving the Nazis a bit of a pass here...

    Quote Originally Posted by J.A.W. View Post
    ...

    & the Waffen SS - when captured - found themselves open to 'legal' summary 'execution'
    for being classed as 'criminal brigands'..by the US.. as well as Stalin's mob..
    Do you have any specific incidents for this? Seems like a rather broad generalization that might sort of be, well, bullshit. How many of these "criminal brigands" were summarily executed by U.S. troops. This no doubt happened to an extent in the East. But when three-fifths of all Soviet POWs taken by the Germans died, we might have to put that in perspective...

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    Default Re: Action of partisans - freedom fighters or insurgents ?

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Partisans are popular breed in last 100 years. Although initially appearing in WW1 they made their reputation in WW2 in France and especially Russia and Yugoslavia. Later incarnations occurred in suicide bombers in Iraq etc.

    Hmmmm Partisans have been popular for waaaay longer than 100 years, another name of course is Guerilla taken from the Spanish during the French occupation of Spain (Peninsular war era so 200+ years).

    Lets look closer at ww2 era. France declared war on Germany. Germany, in response, attacked and successfully occupied France. Partisans had the opportunity to fight (and loose) in French Army. But they decided instead to sneak attack unarmed German rear services and destroy infrastructure hurting thereby the German struggle for survival.

    In Russia same happened, they could have fought (and lost) with Red Army. But they cowardly decided to attack German rear-guard. Forgotten soldier by Guy Sayer, among many other accounts, describes war crimes against German soldiers usually including body mutilations - and regularly provoking response by SS against local population harboring partisans. Strangely enough, they are not condemned for this illegal, immoral and criminal behavior and are recognized by victors as - freedom fighters to be celebrated eternally - without any staint. From the eyes of common Landser they represented ferocious and cowardly danger which lurked from the shadows. Since no Geneva conventions applied in Russia its hard to asses but Wehrmacht (not SS) usually abstained from war crimes.

    In Iraq, however, when victorious USA attacked Iraq (which previously DID NOT declare war on USA) partisans are no longer freedom fighters. No, they became...INSURGENTS and TERRORISTS striped of any rights what so ever.

    Or to give another -more direct example- partisans fighting in Russia were freedom fighters (despite fighting for communist regime) but those fighting in Vietnam/North Korea are communist bastards and evil doers


    Is this another example of Allied hypocracy or my feet stink ?
    The rest is quite funny, nice comic story mostly.
    Last edited by leccy; 06-08-2013 at 01:39 PM.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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