Saturday 20th of July 2024

from victory via becoming rust at the bottom, with the sad loss of lives, to MAD...

When France folded at the knees in 1940, the Armistice signed between “free” France and Germany was designed to save some of the furniture. The victor of 1918, Marshall Pétain was now signing as the vanquished.

Meanwhile Admiral François Darlan, commander of the French Navy, assured the British that the French fleet that had not been captured by the Germans, would remain under "new” France's control, thus according to the terms of the capitulation would not be used by the German forces, except as mine-sweepers if the need came up... Winston Churchill and the War Cabinet thought that they could not believe Darlan, in the same manner as they could not believe Hitler who had been deceiving everyone even before the beginning of the war. Darlan had become part of the new French Vichy Government that, to a great extend, was submissive to Germany despite not being “occupied”. The French had been allied to Britain but by then, could not be trusted in the showers for a bar of soap on the floor.

Even General de Gaulle who had formed the Free French government in Britain while in exile was a pain in the butt. Not trusting Darlan, the Brits decided to get rid of, or neutralise, the major part of the French fleet that had taken refuge in Mers el Kébir, Algeria. 

War with Germany having been declared, Hood, the biggest battleship of the Royal Navy, was operating around Iceland, where it spent several months hunting for German battleships that blockaded convoys from the USA to Britain and to Russia. After improvement of its propulsion system, Hood had been sent as the flagship of Force H (based in Gibraltar), and thus participated in the destruction of the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir... The operation was called Catapult. The British bombardment of the base killed 1,297 French servicemen, sank a battleship and damaged five other ships, for a British loss of five aircrafts and two crewmen killed. One large French battleship managed to escape to join the French Navy in Toulon, where the fleet was then scuttled — under secret orders of Admiral Darlan, it is believed...

Hood was then re-dispatched to Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland — interestingly being the same place where the defeated German fleet had been scuttled on 21 June 1919 — to act as a convoy escort and as a major defence against a potential German invasion of Great Britain. 

In May 1941, the Hood and the battleship Prince of Wales were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. These German ships were en route to the north Atlantic, from where they would attack convoys around the Denmark Strait, between Greenland and Iceland. 

On 24 May 1941, early in the encounter, Hood was struck by German shells from Bismarck, exploded and sank within 3 minutes — with the loss of all but three of the crew. This loss affected British morale but within hours, the order from the admiralty and Churchill in particular was “sink the Bismarck!”...
HMS Hood had been the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. It was one of four Admiral-class ordered in mid-1916. Hood had design limitations and it had been improved while still under construction… The deadly battle of Jutland had given a few hints on how to improve the new British warships. Yet it appeared that the storage of ammunition was still a problem, as one shell from Bismarck seem to have penetrated to the ammunition store below deck. Imagine thousands of tonnes of explosive going up at once.

Despite the arrival of more modern ship designs by the mid 1930s, Hood had remained the largest warship in the world for 20 years after commissioning. It was "The Mighty Hood”. With these battleships, we are looking at major gun calibre (a foot and a half diameter) with shells more than a ton each reaching more than 20 kilometres away, able to pierce the thickest of armour. Thus had come the Bismarck and the beginning of bad dreams.

The Bismarck was the biggest battleship of the German navy. Its twin, the Tirpitz, was still under construction in Germany.

Sinking the Bismarck took a few days and some effort, but the allied tactics eventually did it a few thousand miles from where the Hood had been sunk…

Realising the weaknesses of big cruisers, the Germans concentrated their efforts to sink convoys with stealth, the submarines… This worked but by the end of the war, the allies had developed ways to trace the "pack of wolves” — the submarines that attacked in groups. Radars, Sonars and aerial reconnaissance provided the information necessary to also eliminate the “lone” wolves. The breaking of the German enigma code was also paramount in these battles. 

By now, warfare is on a different scale. The tricks and knowledge of the admiralty built on seafaring actions from the times of Drake and Nelson, are as useful as Peter Sellers in that Love the Bomb movie. Very entertaining but as useless as dad’s army factions fighting each other at Godfrey’s cottage, thinking a flowerpot is a german helmet, or was it the reverse?… The new weapons are on a different scale, while conquest isn’t the major goal — showing who has the biggest dick before dying is. 

This brings us to the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The controversy of using nuclear weapons to end the war between the US and Japan pales into insignificance with the lesson “we have” learnt. The people of these cities didn’t die in vain, then and subsequently. They were and are the unknowing sacrificial heroes who for the last 75 years, have prevented us, mad humans — from the USA, Russia, China and others, armed with nukes — from indulging into what had been our regular civilised pass-time: WARFARE… 

Since before the dawn of civilisation, we’ve been at it like mad animals, armed with the most hypocritical excuses of defence and conquests. War, peace, war, peace, war has been our repeated modus operandi, in our little corners, until the planet became too small, all corners to be reached by our weapons nearly instantly, with peace being secondary in this mad alternative.

The MAD (mutual assured destruction) is a sad case of conflict resolution but it has worked at preventing large scale conflicts. But for how long? The baby boomer generation has lived through all this, with a subconscious butt-tightening, while the pentagon and its Russian equivalent have devised weapons and strategies that would become useless as soon as the MAD is enacted. But these mad people still work at it with a mad fervour — that would make Stanley Kubrick shudder — thinking that one can pierce the others defence, like two scorpions fighting each others. Daily, dozens of nuclear armed planes, some built in the 1950s to some in recent times, piloted by personnel that do not ask questions, fly in our skies above, ready to drop their deathly loads…

And our mad Morrison from mad Kanbra wants to join the fray with missiles to scare the others. Where did he get this lunacy, one would think that the loony boffins in the Defence department have been dreaming of the good old days of Waterloo. Look guys, Hood was sunk, the Bismarck was sunk, let’s move on to the next stage of war: PEACE... 

By now, rather than spend huge amount of cash to destroy two flower pots in China, let’s invest in intelligent diplomacy. I say intelligent because diplomacy has mostly been deceitful so far. We need to talk with the “others” and make valid agreements, even if we don’t embrace each others. 

Meanwhile, little conflicts need to be resolved and prevent what is called “regime change” by external influences. People like Elliott Abrams need to be put in prison or in psychiatric hospitals. We need to be more trusting and more generous. We need to break down our prejudices and our religious impediments, to truly go to the heart of humanity. We’re not that bad, are we? Can we manage living sustainably on this planet, without destroying its nature and each others? I hope we can, and the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki told us so in their tragedies. 

Between the delusion of war and the illusion of peace, IT HAS TO BE PEACE.

Uncle Gus

the next level of peace...

Will we ever reach the next level of international peace without threats, bickering and war?



In his 12 volumes of the Study of History, English historian, Arnold Toynbee examined the rise and fall of 26 civilisations in the course of human history. He concluded that they rose by successfully responding to challenges under the leadership of creative groups composed of elite leaders. Civilisations declined when their leaders stopped responding creatively, and civilisations then sank owing to the sins of nationalism, militarism, and the tyranny of a despotic minority. 

Unlike Spengler in The Decline of the West, Toynbee did not regard the death of a civilisation as inevitable, for it may or may not continue and evolve to respond to successive challenges. Unlike Karl Marx, he saw history as shaped by spiritual (say intellectual/information) not economic forces.

Toynbee’s philosophy of history provoked much discussion and was criticised by many historians — mostly for his use of myths and metaphors as being of comparable value to factual data — his general argument about the rise and fall of civilisations, relying too much on a "view of religion as a regenerative force." 

The conclusions Toynbee reached were said to be those of a Christian moralist rather than those of a historian, but he was praised nonetheless for stimulating the conversation of the specialised modern historical research. What Gus thinks is that, contrary to his critics, Toynbee was valuing the importance of fake news as much as that of “facts”, in the creation of civilisation

In our modern era, fake news (the age of deceit) has become our nemesis, yet it has shaped the way entire civilisation behaves. Hitler was using propaganda (fake news mostly) as a motivator for the German people. Previously many kingdoms relied on the support of religion (fake news) as a crutch for the civilisation they were trying to shape  — which was to create opulence, golden castles and fill coffers to go to war by using ignorant plebs. 

The tricks of religion and myths was also used by the Greeks and the Romans. On this site, Gus has exposed many of these that DEFINITELY shaped history. Presently, we have run out of major religiosity and myths. The European enlightenment killed those and replaced them with sciences…. But, lower class of information in general, has been replaced by cruder bullshit that floats around the social media and government alike. In the recent past (WW1 and WW2), religions and myths were still used as motivators to go to war.

Information, which was mostly mono-cultured till the French revolution in the Western world, has followed the trends of artistic movements that nowadays is broken into sets of personal artistic delusions. It is difficult to shape a decent history while Republicans and Democrats bicker about issues that have lost their mythical importance. And sciences demand a difficult and complex exactitude that try to exclude bullshit, while politics swims in it, happily.

One new element in our human civilisation development is that we have better information tools to challenge the bullshit more than ever before, even if our wits are not as good as those of Voltaire. Yet those tools are also controlled by our controllers, by default. We have to be aware that propaganda has penetrated our best information channels...

"Civilisations die from suicide, not by murder."
                — Arnold Toynbee

This is the case of taking the entire planet down with MAD… Suicide and murder at the same time... It simply is time for peace….