Monday: Hili dialogue

April 25, 2022 • 3:46 am

Meanwhile, in Dobrzyn, Hili is feeling snarky

Kulka: Did you notice that Szaron has trouble with mathematics?
Hili: Yes, he is always forgetting formulas.
(Photo: Paulina R.)Kulka: Czy zauważyłaś, że Szaron ma kłopoty z matematyką?
Hili: Tak ciągle zapomina wzorów.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina R.)

And from reader Grant:

On 25 April it will ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day commemorates the landings on the Dardanelles in Turkey in 1915. The forces that landed comprised of troops from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and India. The Turkish Army was well prepared and commanded by Kemal Attaturk.

The campaign objective was to seize control of the straits with th ultimate objective of neutralising Turkey and opening a supply route to Imperial Russia. It was the brainchild of Winston Churchill. The initial landings were a disaster and the campaign failed. Over 5000 Australian soldiers were killed during the campaign that endured through to December 1915. This was just under ten percent of all Australian deaths in World War One. In all 20 percent of Australians who served in that war were killed. It was unique as a force as it became the only all volunteer army to fight in World War One and conscription referendums failed when put to a popular vote.

This link takes you to a song written by Eric Bogle and performed by The Pogues to describe the soldier’s experience of Gallipoli and its aftermath.  It is a timely reminder of the horror and pain of war.  I too am an Australian veteran crippled by conflict, and to my mind there is nothing that justifies war. ANZAC Day is a poignant reminder.

25 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

    1. Actually, no. is a valid domain within the “be” top level domain (Belgium). If you put it in your browser, you’ll find it redirects to the more conventional

  1. Hang on – “the only all volunteer army to fight in World War One” – well, the BEF was a standing army, & then the volunteers formed “Kitchener’s Army” until conscription in the UK in 1916.

    Funny how the libertarian U.S.A. had ‘the draft’ right from the start of the nation.

    Presumably conscientious objectors were ‘draught excluders’! 🙂

    1. The AIF was not part of the BEF. It was a volunteer force from the commencement of hostilities right up until 11 Nov 1918

    2. Australia did not have a standing army except for a few artillery units and militia forces. These forces could not serve outside Australia or its territories. The Federal Government raised the Australian Imperial Force as an all volunteer force to serve overseas in WW1. It remained volunteer from August 1914 until November 1918. So the sitiuation of the BEF and Kitchener’s volunteers is in no way analogous

    3. I guess it depends on whether you consider the BEF and Kitchener’s army to be distinct from the conscripted British army of the later war years. I’m not sure that is valid because it was all the same army.

    4. Funny how the libertarian U.S.A. had ‘the draft’ right from the start of the nation.

      The US of A has had an all-volunteer military since the nation’s conscription laws expired in 1973, shortly after the US withdrew that last of its combat troops from Southeast Asia, pursuant to the so-called Paris Peace Treaty.

      We also haven’t had a declared war since WW2, though none of that has gotten in the way of US bellicosity much, what with the invasions of Grenada and Panama, the First Gulf War, the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, the war in Afghanistan and the Second Gulf War.

      1. Andrew Bacevich of the Quincy Institute for Responsible statecraft has some significant thoughts on the volunteer force. Over the years I have read and heard Americans occasionally and perfunctorily comment to the effect that volunteers (wounded or killed in action) “made their choice.” Short of dissolving the military, I contemplate whom Americans (especially “chicken hawks”) expect to join the military to go in harm’s way. Many high school seniors who join up likely aren’t informed and don’t think much about U.S. foreign policy. They’re not much inclined to muddy the intellectual waters when the military is their (only) ticket out of a dismal economic future (perhaps including opioid addiction).

  2. Hili even has her ears back-she’s that disgusted by a cat who keeps forgetting its math formulas. And who can blame her?

  3. “…to my mind there is nothing that justifies war.” To my mind, too, brother. Thanks for your post!

  4. Our local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, has a photo today of the reburial of the remains of some French troops from the Dardanelles campaign – their remains were found during restoration of a castle at Canakkale, and were reburied in a nearby cemetery holding graves of other French soldiers. The article mentions the cost of the Dardanelles campaign: 44,000 Allied troops, and 88,000 Ottoman troops. It was the Dardenelles campaign that prompted the New Zealand government to insist in WW2 that its troops should always remain under NZ control and not simply be used as the British wished – it may have had the same effect in Australia, though I’m not sure.

    1. Yes – all Australian forces in WW2 were under Australian control. After serving superbly in the Med (Greece/Crete and the Western Desert including El Alamein – both battles), the Australian government insisted, much to Churchill’s displeasure, that they be returned to Australia to fight the Japanese.

    2. By 1918 all Australian forces were under command of Australian Officers for very much the same reasons. On the Western Front the Australian Corps of five Divisions were under command of General Sir John Monash (ironically of Prussian Jewish descent) and in the the Middle East they Desert Mounted Corps was under the command of General Sir Harry Chauvel (Being careful not to break Da Roolz)

  5. Each day the photographs from the Auschwitz Museum, the “world,” from a line in a poem by Christine Potter, “has interrupted me. And why should it care about that?” She closes with phrase uttered by a coroner in Kiev, who as he uncovers each face, “How? How did this happen to you.” Each image is of another human with a full life ahead who was murdered. These are haunting and I appreciate every one of them.

    Thanks again.

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