The hereditary TV presenter Dan Snow, aka thehistoryguy, claimed yesterday that the EU had brought peace to Europe and Brexit threatened it. So nothing to do with NATO and the American defensive shield then? And what about the genocide at Srebrenica during the Bosnian war when EU peacekeeping troops stood idly by as 8,000 folks were massacred? Snow was talking nonsense as many of us pointed out. But rallying to his defence was my good friend, the arch Euro loon Jonathan Price, who insisted that the EU had ended war in Europe since all the previous wars were started by either France or Germany. Like the hereditary TV presenter, I fear that even Bath Spa would fail that answer.
I might perhaps start in 1912 with the Balkan wars. In round one, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and the mighty Hellenes attacked Turkish run territory to seize land where the folks were Serbs, Greeks, Bulgars and Montenegrins. The sick man of Europe was beaten. In Round two, the Bulgarians turned on Serbia and Greece claiming that they got a bum deal in round one. Once again, the heroic Serbs and the Mighty Hellenes sent their foes packing and reclaimed more land that should have been theirs in the first place.
You see Jonathan, here are two European wars on which neither France or Germany were involved. Had you read the scholarly work by the late Dr TJ Winnifrith prompted by the very unusual memorial that stands in Kardamili, in the Mani, you would not have made such a schoolboy error. One day, my friend, you will join me in the Mani at the Greek Hovel and you can tell my neighbours, impoverished by years of austerity, why the EU is such good news for them. Perhaps adding that Germany loves them, Germany has always loved them.
Jonathan, I am not sure if you will allow the 1923 invasion of Greek-speaking parts of Turkey by the Greeks as a European war. Jonathan may strike that out as being a Minor Asian conflict. He might even really push his luck and claim that the invasion of Greek Cyprus by her Turkish infidels in the 1970s took place outside Europe.
I now move forward to the 1920s and the Irish civil war. Again not a Frog or a Kraut to be seen but still a war in Europe. Similarly, we might look to the fighting between white and red Russians; that was a brutal old war with no Frogs or Hun anywhere to be seen. And for that matter, what about the Greek Civil war of the late 1940s when the commies burned down the Greek Hovel, the Mani being a Royalist stronghold?
The Yugoslav civil war. Boy the EU covered itself in glory there and of course it was sparked off when Germany rushed to be the first to recognise the UDI of Croatia. But let’s not pretend that the Hun or the cheese-eating surrender monkeys started that war either. What about the Ukrainian civil war? Or is that only in Europe in Eurovision terms? No Hun or Frogs were involved in starting that one.
And then there is the big daddy: World War One. Rather grudgingly, Price accepts that the first three participants in this game were the gallant Serbs, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Mother Russia, the land of the Free. It took a couple more days for the British, Frogs, Krauts and Belgium to join the party. Okay Jonathan says, but the first major battle involved Germany, viz the siege of Liege by the Hun from August 5 to 16. Well up to a point old fruit.
On 29 July, the Austro Hungarian armies started shelling Belgrade, the capital of the gallant Serbs, and days after, the evil invaders established outposts on the slopes of Mount Cer. It took until 15 August for the Serbs to ready themselves for a counter punch and by 19 August the enemy was in retreat with more than 20,000 invaders killed, many of them drowning in the river Drina as they fled.
So if Jonathan marks the start of hostilities at Cer as being the Serb counter attack, he can just about claim that the first battle of WW1 involved Germany but if we start the battle as when the Austro-Hungarians first advanced following the shelling of Belgrade, c 60 miles from the main town in the area, Sabac, then Jonathan’s point is lost.
But either way, his claim that either the French or the Germans started Word War One is very weak indeed. That euro loons like @theheritaryTVpresenterwhosegraspofhistoryisweak and Price claim that Brexit makes war in Europe more likely shows just how weak the intellectual case for staying in the EU was in the first place. Only the truly desperate grasp at straws in this fashion.
Here endeth the history lesson from those who even Bath Spa would fail in this subject.