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Bearcat99
06-07-2006, 06:48 AM
Over thew weekend I had the plaesure of watching "Cinderella Man" with Russel Crowe & Renee Zelweger... What a great film that was. I thought they did a great job of conveying the depression era... and that scene when he went from winning a fight and standing in the bedroom in front of the mirror in his house to the squalid rental flat four years later was excellently done.... It kind of reminded me of some of the transition shots in "Lone Star".. another PDG film.

I coming off the WWII weekend and all and after seeing that film the obvious occured to me in a bigger way than it had in the past. I was discussing with some folks on a line at MAAM (It was to tour the Lanc.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif) how soft this generation is in so many ways and Americans in particular(No offense... but it's true) and we were wondering if this generation could pull together like that one did to fight Fascism and Naziism. Although we didnt hit on it in our discussion it occured to me after seeing Cinderella Man that one of the things that made that generation so strong was that many of them had come of age during the depression.... I know many old folks from that era and I notice that they all have similar traits....

What do you guys think? How big a role do you think the depression played not only in the conditions that helped to set off WWII but in the attitudes and ethics of thise who fought it... on all sides?

BTW.... please lets keep this civil so we all can learn something here.. I dont want this to turn into a "My country suffered more than yours did thread.." .... thanks in advance.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

WOLFMondo
06-07-2006, 07:03 AM
Bearcat, the British situation was different, depression was evident but in th 20's and 30's Britain was pacifist and did not want war at all. Not to say anyone was soft but Britain was sick of war but they rose to the occasion within a moments notice.

Dunno about you guys over the pond but the British would have a problem with it now, we can't even keep control of kids in schools. I remember looking at the CIA's estimation of British fighting strength (there world fact file) in the population we can field more potential soldiers than the US can and you guys have 200m more people than us!!! How does that figure?!

Depression was a leading factor in Germany though, and decades of violence between differnet paramilitaries. Reading about Germany between the wars, its like WW1 never really finished in German eyes until 1945.

Extreme conditions demand extreme responses though. Until were faced with such danger we'll never know.

Worf101
06-07-2006, 07:11 AM
Well, it's not quite that simple. Most of my Mom's 7 brothers served in WWII. But they were ready not only because the Depression hardened them but also because of the quasi-military training they received in the C.C.C. "Civilian Conservation Corps".

It was set up and run just like the Army in many ways. The transition from C.C.C. to Armed Forces was almost seamless. Just had to add the weapons training.

But to your original premise "were we tougher then"? I think so... we were a nation of factory workers and farmboys. The nation worked with his hands, not in front of a videoscreen. We, as a people, were accustomed to long hours of hard work be it in the factories or the fields.

Also, I think we believed more in the concept of "our country" back then. After Pearl Harbor the lines at recruiting stations were round the block in some cities. We were sucker punched and wanted payback. After 911, while there was an uptick in enlistments and a swell of patriotism it truly didn't last long. Of course the fact that we didn't have an F.D.R. standing tall and declaring war on our enemies didn't help either.

No, this generation is not like it's predecessors but does it need to be? Who is there to challenge us? If we going to truly be attacked the nation won't be "invaded" by a foreign army, we'll more than likely be victimized by terrorists. Perhaps China in the far future, but there's no profit in it for them to kill thier biggest customer.

Nope, todays kids are softer but there's really no reason for them to be harder.

Da Worfster

XyZspineZyX
06-07-2006, 07:13 AM
I dont think we get "softer" with each generation, we are a product of our environment. In life we have people who have an easier path of life than others & this happens throught the world. It is fact that third world conditions make people harder, its because they have to be to survive, many of the the third world nations are experiencing hardships way beyond that of the Western world in the depression.

The Western world would pull together to fight against an aggresive nation, but I think as a people we have learned, (even though at times it doesnt look like it) that we must never let what occured in WW2 to happen again.

To live the way we live in the West took the sacrifice of millions in WW2 & its something that we must never forget & it is up to us to teach our children this.

WOLFMondo
06-07-2006, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by Worf101:
The nation worked with his hands, not in front of a videoscreen. We, as a people, were accustomed to long hours of hard work be it in the factories or the fields.

I think thats true of all nations then. Less social security as well so people worked until the couldn't. Diet was better as well, none of these 'e' numbers, additives and other **** which is detrimental to health.

Friendly_flyer
06-07-2006, 09:13 AM
A factor in people in the Western world today versus 1940ies may be the population structure. Today, population growth is slow, in some countries it has even reversed. This means more older people and less suitable young men for the meat grinder.

Though all children are themselves worth everything to the parents, loosing one in five is a lot easier to cope with than loosing one in two. Back then, chances was that one out of a flock of five children would die anyway. With fewer children, we have less to loose, let alone squander on war.

I say the Western world are not softer, we have simply adjusted society to a stable population regime. Warlike nations on the Erath today are mostly those whose population growth is high, and life expectancy is correspondingly low.

TgD Thunderbolt56
06-07-2006, 09:18 AM
I think the population in general is softer. How could it not be? On the other hand, I also feel the quality of individuals serving in all areas of our (US) miltary are better-trained, better-equipped, and better educated than they ever have been. The question of banding together to fight the forces of Nazism, facism etc,.. may be moot to a point. Wars are fought so differently than they ever have been. Sure, you still need to have your boys' feet on their soil to properly declare victory or whatever you prefer to call it, but the increase in lethality, as well as the surgical precision that is completely viable in the weapons and hardware (not to mention the ability to remotely deploy most of them) makes it a sort of "apples and oranges" comparison.

My Father-in-law was raised in the depression and was a tank commander in WWII Europe. As a child he used to put carboard in his shoes to cover the holes and took dandelion greens with olive oil sandwiches to school. He wasn't less-fortunate or less-privileged than any other typical child, but because of his generations' efforts, myself and my children haven't had to endure such hardships.

Does the environment and/or conditions temper the individual? Of course it does. I have always been a cup-half-full kind of guy, but I'd wager that if todays generation had to endure similar conditions then it too would be of stronger steel.


My .02c



TB

triad773
06-07-2006, 09:25 AM
Yes it seems that my inerests and readings are similar to most here. My folks lived 7 in one room during the depression. I think it did make people hardened in a way that is unthinkable today, with the resulting post-war economic boom we experienced in the states. Also I beleive that society has changed in that people are generally more selfish (here in the US anyway,) and thus a proportion not AS willing to give thier lives/commmitment the way they did then.

BUT that being said, I also think that people from more impverished countries are more hardened, AND willing to go and give 'it all' in order to make a statement, let alone stand up for what they see are injustices being perpetraited on them by more wealthy countries.

Good thread. Glad it is staying civil.

~S~

Triad

whiteladder
06-07-2006, 10:02 AM
I don`t think we should be too hard on the present generation. They are what we made them, if they are perceived as soft it is because we have allowed them to become so.

What also should be remembered is that although many people in the 1930`s did volenteer for service in their respective countries, the vast majority had no choice in the matter and were drafted. People from the present generation who are serving in Iraq, Afganistan and a whole host of other nasty place around the world have vonenteered. I think that deserves a lot of credit.

Although I suppect it would take longer these days to bring recruits upto the required standard as compaired to their forbears, it should also be remembered that those standards have been raised quite considerably.

redfeathers1948
06-07-2006, 08:49 PM
If I may,, the decade of the 1930's around the world developed from the depression. I highly recommend this book for not only it's explanation of the world in turmoil that led to WWII but also for it's superbly written style.
A must read:

'The Dark Valley' -a panorama of the 1930's.
by Piers Brendon. Copyright 2000.

Targ
06-07-2006, 11:07 PM
I dont think that Americans are any softer or have worse ethics than during WW2.
It is wrong to look at the past as being better or that somehow people had better ethics and work standards back then.
People were still just as shifty, low down and no good as they are today.
People were still rubbing ugly's as often as they do today and nothing has changed in that regards other than it is more out in the open.
US troops and American resolve was not as iron strong as people think and tend to romanticize the past as somehow being better and more ethical.
This is not true, we are not much different than we were 2000 years ago, better eduacated and healthier for certain but the way we act today towards one another and our lust for material objects and our carnal desires has not changed one bit.
What has changed is you are getting older and your perceptions and feelings have changed, you are your nagging, worry wort father, congrats as I bet he thought much the same about the younger generation as you do now http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Friendly_flyer
06-07-2006, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by triad773:
Also I beleive that society has changed in that people are generally more selfish (here in the US anyway,) and thus a proportion not AS willing to give thier lives/commmitment the way they did then.


I used to think a lot like you: Modern society is al about material wealth and sneaking away from responsibility. Then I had an eye-opener experience:

In the early 1990€ies, one of the large rivers here in Norway burst its banks and started flooding a small town. Having seen the fight against the water on the news, I took the train up there to help out. I was not the only one. There was a veritable exodus of young people out of Oslo to help building barriers, carrying heavy furniture, filling sandbags etc. Girls not strong enough for hard labore carried drinking water to the workers, I even saw two women making a very 40ish looking sandwich stand, giving away food to people building a dam along their street.

People are more than willing to chip in, given the opportunity to do so. In our modern Western world, we are given very little chance to help out, no wonder we appear selfish and soft.

fordfan25
06-08-2006, 01:04 AM
the mustang won the war http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Esel1964
06-08-2006, 02:26 AM
The depression had everything to do with "the greatest generation's" formational years.
Watch "Band of Brothers",pay attention at the beginning of episode 1-where the veterans are speaking;at one point,a man mentions the fact that he didn't even know what "airborne" was,but he signed up because it was $50 more per month.
And if you're used to eating what you can 'scrounge-up'(depression),as compared to what you want for the most part(modern-times),you will fare better under harsh conditions.

slipBall
06-08-2006, 02:28 AM
bearcat (quote)

how soft this generation is in so many ways and Americans in particular(No offense... but it's true) and we were wondering if this generation could pull together like that one did to fight Fascism and Naziism.


Soft, I think is the wrong word to decribe about half of our nation's population. The word that I would use is Naive. These people view themselves as highly evolved, too evolved for war, and fighting. Many thinking that a hug, or a "I'm sorry" will somehow apease those that hate us. Pearl united this country in a common goal, 2001 seems to have devided us. Same sneak attack, simular lose of life, different reaction. It reminds me of when a caged tiger, or pit bull, kills the child next door. The owner wondering how this could be. We gave that animal so much love

Esel1964
06-08-2006, 02:54 AM
Slipball-It may be naivity,but,I think it's more governments'(and trial lawyers) increasing encroachment on every aspect of our lives.

Like Friendly Flyer said:"People are more than willing to chip in, given the opportunity to do so. In our modern Western world, we are given very little chance to help out, no wonder we appear selfish and soft."

For example,if an 80 ft. tree fell on my elderly neighbor's house trapping them inside-if I was over there with my chainsaw,trying to clear a way to get to them,the first thing the "officials" would do is run me off-'for my safety';then they'll stand around and look at each other,while waiting on an official chainsaw,when I could have the job done if they'd left me alone.

We've become far too litigious and bureaucratic for our own good. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

tagTaken2
06-08-2006, 04:02 AM
Made me think of the Emperor's Sardaukar from Dune.
Peopl always surprise you in a crisis. The irritating thing is that they're completely apathetic and self-centred the other 99% of the time. Look at the environment. Nobody's too fussed now... I bet we're going to see the biggest effort in mankind's history when the coin drops in the next few decades.


Damn double post.

Bearcat99
06-08-2006, 06:48 AM
Originally posted by Targ:
I dont think that Americans are any softer or have worse ethics than during WW2.
It is wrong to look at the past as being better or that somehow people had better ethics and work standards back then.
People were still just as shifty, low down and no good as they are today.
People were still rubbing ugly's as often as they do today and nothing has changed in that regards other than it is more out in the open.
US troops and American resolve was not as iron strong as people think and tend to romanticize the past as somehow being better and more ethical.
This is not true, we are not much different than we were 2000 years ago, better eduacated and healthier for certain but the way we act today towards one another and our lust for material objects and our carnal desires has not changed one bit.
What has changed is you are getting older and your perceptions and feelings have changed, you are your nagging, worry wort father, congrats as I bet he thought much the same about the younger generation as you do now http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

LMAO... yeah maybe you are right....

Worf101
06-08-2006, 09:06 AM
Conversely, do those of us that are Dad's find ourselves in the "Catch 22" of fatherhood? You want to make it a tough on your kid so he has some determination and "grit" but you also don't want him or her to have to go through the "hell" you went through.

I grew up in "The Forty Projects" of New York City. I don't ever want my kid to experience what I went through, but I know that I'm the man I am today BECAUSE I went through that chit. I don't know what's worse actually. I don't want my son to be a "thug" but he shouldn't be a milk sop either.

Da Worfster

triad773
06-08-2006, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Friendly_flyer:
People are more than willing to chip in, given the opportunity to do so. In our modern Western world, we are given very little chance to help out, no wonder we appear selfish and soft.

Hi Friendly_flyer - I agree in principle with what you say. I remember after Hurricane Katrina there were all sorts of things going on in our community: people going down to try and help, clothing drives and the like. Much of which locally the wife and I tried to participate in. In being soft, I do not think it is something that was by design: I see it as a side effect of prosperity. America has had it very well after WWII: that is changing and the powers that be are doing all they can to forestall or avoid that. Much like what happened when the British Empire, the French Colonials, and the like were in egress. Expanding on those items are the topic of another thread- no doubt one that would get quickly locked after tempers flair.

I wanted to let you know that I recognize and appreciate your point. The news here in the states can seem rather insular compared to Europe. One might not know more of the whole picture unless one looks at alternatives to the big networks like the BBC online or such. Corporate media is really getting a stranglehold here. But I digress.

Thanks for pointing out that yes given the opportunity, the better elements of humanity can rise to the top. Only if it were not adversity that made it so evident.

Regards

Triad

AKA_TAGERT
06-08-2006, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
I was discussing with some folks on a line at MAAM (It was to tour the Lanc.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif) how soft this generation is in so many ways and Americans in particular (No offense... but it's true) and we were wondering if this generation could pull together like that one did to fight Fascism and Naziism. I use to think that too.. until 911. The way our young men stepped up to the plate and volunteered to fight the enemy and the way the marines stomped Baghdad in a few weeks made me realize that the American sprit is still alive and well. Especially proud of them I am in that the danger today is not as black and white as it was during WWII. It was easy to join back then because you knew if you didn€t, you and your family would be speaking German soon. Where as today, there is no draft and the danger is not as black and white. Thus it takes a special person, the best of the best to step up to the plate. Sure, there are more nose ring slackers than ever.. but you will always have some percentage of them in any society. I will even say that their percentages are higher now than they were back than, but the base is still there. That and it seems ever worse than it is because the media loves to put those types on the cover of magazies and TV screens. The only down side of this war is that it is killing our best of the best, I only wish I had the power to trade two nose ring wearing, black hair dyed coffee serving slacker for each one of our boys killed over there.

jimDG
06-08-2006, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
Over thew weekend I had the plaesure of watching "Cinderella Man" with Russel Crowe & Renee Zelweger... What a great film that was. I thought they did a great job of conveying the depression era... and that scene when he went from winning a fight and standing in the bedroom in front of the mirror in his house to the squalid rental flat four years later was excellently done.... It kind of reminded me of some of the transition shots in "Lone Star".. another PDG film.

I coming off the WWII weekend and all and after seeing that film the obvious occured to me in a bigger way than it had in the past. I was discussing with some folks on a line at MAAM (It was to tour the Lanc.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif) how soft this generation is in so many ways and Americans in particular(No offense... but it's true) and we were wondering if this generation could pull together like that one did to fight Fascism and Naziism. Although we didnt hit on it in our discussion it occured to me after seeing Cinderella Man that one of the things that made that generation so strong was that many of them had come of age during the depression.... I know many old folks from that era and I notice that they all have similar traits....

What do you guys think? How big a role do you think the depression played not only in the conditions that helped to set off WWII but in the attitudes and ethics of thise who fought it... on all sides?

BTW.... please lets keep this civil so we all can learn something here.. I dont want this to turn into a "My country suffered more than yours did thread.." .... thanks in advance.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It depends what you mean by "fight". Less than 20 % of GIs actually shot their guns in WW2 and Korea.
Less than 5% claimed that they had actually aimed their guns and killed someone.
The artilery did (and had to) all the dirty work, on the American side.
What it comes down to is that no american citizen wanted to kill anyone, even as a GI, even under fire.

It took 30 years to change that (Vietnam) and install rigourous training that automates the process ("shoot from the hip"/"use reflex shooting without thinking"), to go around that problem.

If by "fight" you mean to work hard in factories, buy war bonds etc., then I guess thats a matter of succesful leadership on FDR's an Truman's part.

By comparison, lots of people volunteered in WW1, as soon as the USA entered the war (and I assume had no qualms about shooting at Germans).

Blutarski2004
06-08-2006, 09:48 AM
The great majority of the post-WW2 generations in the US have grown up knowing only incredibly bountiful times. They have never faced true want and hunger. The same was also true of most Americans on the day before the onset of the Great Depression. They learned to cope with crisis and survive. This generation will respond in the same way if faced by similar challenges and crises.

Eagle_361st
06-08-2006, 11:37 AM
Being a veteran of the current war and a card carrying member of gen X I have to say in some ways we could be considered "softer". However our society as a whole has changed much in the last 60 years, some for better, some for the worse. To use a blanket statement and say that we are any less of a generation than that of my Grandfathers is pattently flawed. We are a different generation. While I honor and still to this day think of that generation with great respect, we do owe all of them alot. We can say they helped shape the world we live in today, and much will more than likely be said of ours as well. I had the honor of serving with the greatest men and women in Iraq, whose resolve and courage can not and should not be questioned ever. We fought a far different and IMHO much harder war, and we faced it with our heads up high with true grit and valor. We can say that our fathers and grandfathers helped to shape our moral fiber, but honestly I have seen that bravery and valor can not be grown. I only hope that the sacrifices we made will make a difference in securing a better world, I do not want to be remembered as "the greatest" or "softest" generation. Simply remember me as a man who stood up for what he believed in.

BSS_Goat
06-08-2006, 11:46 AM
D@mn good post Eagle.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif can I quote you?

Eagle_361st
06-08-2006, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by BSS_Goat:
D@mn good post Eagle.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif can I quote you?

Absolutely mate!

Bearcat99
06-08-2006, 06:44 PM
Keep in mind that I am not referring to servicemen.... All who serve in my opinion are a cut above on a certain level.... I am referring to the general public.. and Sean.. send me a PT with your number.. it fell into the black hole on my desk before i could get it into my phone....

Taylortony
06-08-2006, 07:11 PM
I have served my country.............. now dont all fall over and burst out laughing but I suppose I have..........


There are 3 words in the English Language that have a sever effect on our way of life and turn grown men to quivering wrecks...........

Ok are you ready http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

ok

here it is

Health and Safety

These people turn grown men into dayglo jellys, you cannot fart without being surrounded by flashing lights, cordoned off tape and people in full biological suits................ you think I jest

Ok an example........

In the UK there is a old vet that every year used to make the trip to one of our more illustrious museums to sit in his old Aircraft.. THE LANCASTER........... This man rose to the call and flew many a mission over enemy territory to deliver his bombload onto the targets below often returning damaged, infact he as did many an airman nearly paid the ultimate sacrifice.................... But NO More, for the Health and Safety have now deemed it unsafe for this veteren who has had flak and bullets hurled in his general direction to sit in his beloved bomber for what you may ask?.............. well it has been deemed by these brainless do gooders that his life is again in jeopardy from the minute radiation given off from the illuminous paint used to mark the instrument he stared at day in day out so many years ago........

LStarosta
06-08-2006, 07:21 PM
Kinda makes you wonder if there are things today that we use all the time which will be recalled in the following decades for "health and safety" reasons.

partic_10
06-08-2006, 09:58 PM
We are softer now because we can be. Why wouldn't you enjoy life if the opportunity arrises? But all humans are natural born killing machines in the right circumstances. As for the depression toughening people up, well, we might all soon get the opportunity to see for ourselves...
As for who you may be fighting, hard to say. China will almost certainly tear itself apart in the next decade or so. Probably the resurgent Russians?
The fact is we have had an atypical period of peace and prosperity in the West and these things never last.
Jeez, where are my cheerful pills...

AKA_TAGERT
06-08-2006, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
Keep in mind that I am not referring to servicemen.... All who serve in my opinion are a cut above on a certain level.... I am referring to the general public.. The servicemen are made up of the general public... So what is your point? Long story short.. I think the gen-X bunch are more like the WWII bunch then the baby boomers inbetween the two. I wont go into too much hippy bashing detail, but the sooner the tree huggin excuse making baby boomers grow old die and get out of the way the better off this country will be.

TSmoke
06-08-2006, 10:23 PM
Quote: AKA_TAGERT.

"Long story short.. I think the gen-X bunch are more like the WWII bunch then the baby boomers inbetween the two. I wont go into too much hippy bashing detail, but the sooner the tree huggin excuse making baby boomers grow old die and get out of the way the better off this country will be."


Just a observation and opinion, being a baby boomer, well it just shows your maturity in your post.

Rude, obnoxious and ignorant. Nuff said!!

Jumoschwanz
06-09-2006, 06:15 PM
The citizens of the United States had a chance to get rid of the most universally hated world leader since Adolf Hitler, and take power away from a regime that has murdered more than any other in history, and they did not have the brains or awarness to do it.
This was during the last presidential election for the United States of America.

After that debacle, I wrote the dum suns a biches off....

Jumoschwanz

Targ
06-09-2006, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by Jumoschwanz:
The citizens of the United States had a chance to get rid of the most universally hated world leader since Adolf Hitler, and take power away from a regime that has murdered more than any other in history, and they did not have the brains or awarness to do it.
This was during the last presidential election for the United States of America.



After that debacle, I wrote the dum suns a biches off....

Jumoschwanz

Lol, your funny!

VW-IceFire
06-09-2006, 07:58 PM
It usually takes an obvious enemy to get a generation to rally around a cause that is a positive one, one that is necessary, and one that demands hard sacrifice. We're fighting the 'war on terror' and yet there has been no move to a wartime economy, no sacrifice (save innocent lives on 911 and during other terrorist attacks in the west and on our soliders), no real hardships, we haven't had a moritorium on car manufacturing like in WWII, so on and so forth.

No we're a pretty lacksidasical bunch here at home. TV and video games consume our time and we're pretty pleased to put our fingers in our ears and let our freedoms and core beliefs slip away. Not nearly as tough...but we could be if we needed to be but nobody has found a need yet to rally all of our various nations to greatness.

AKA_TAGERT
06-09-2006, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by TSmoke:
Just a observation and opinion, being a baby boomer, well it just shows your maturity in your post.

Rude, obnoxious and ignorant. Nuff said!! Whoops! Forgot one, and thier inability to handle the truth.

horseback
06-09-2006, 11:37 PM
Interesting fact: a surprisingly large percentage (close to one-third) of military-aged young men were passed over for service in the US military during WWII because they couldn't pass the physical due to the malnutrition or injuries they had suffered during the Great Depression.

If you were missing most of your teeth, had bad joints from rickets, poor vision, had injuries that limited your mobility (factory, farm and ranch work can be hazardous-I remember quite clearly an exchange at the AFEES when I was inducted in 1975 - Doctor:"What happened to your other testical, son?" Skinny young man in boxers and badly worn cowboy boots:"Calf stomped on it when I was ten, sir.") could all disqualify you from serving in uniform, and we had sufficient excess population to limit our service members to the fittest and healthiest. Even today, having had a knee operation that is common to professional athletes today disqulifies you from serving.

Some other nations were not able to be so picky.

The Depression probably made that generation harder working and more willing to make sacrifices (that means "take a lot of cr@P" to you younger guys) to keep a job.

Were they tougher? Mentally, I would give an unqualified Yes.

Physically, I doubt it. At age 35, I know that I was still a better conditioned athlete than my father's oldest brother (Ohio state high school heavyweight wrestling champ during the peak of the Depression-and he's 5'6") was when he was 18. We now know far more about conditioning, nutrition, medicine and training for physical hardship than we knew then.

We lost a lot of guys to disease and poor preparation in WWII that we don't lose today.

cheers

horseback

airdale1960
06-09-2006, 11:52 PM
Yes, we have a much more cushy existance than our forefathers, they endured the depression and hardships so there sons and daughters wouldn't have to.
So much more the need to preserve what was payed for by "That Band of Brothers".
Unfortunately, this generation is charged with another kind of war; Terrorism, only time will tell how they fair. Just my 2 cents.

leitmotiv
06-10-2006, 12:17 AM
I had the opportunity to see video of our U.S. Army soldiers in Baghdad last year taken by a young man in a mech infantry unit who was the son of a friend. I was floored by the coolness and competency of the soldiers. And, gad, they were fit---they all looked like linebackers---not the same quality of troops as my, Vietnam, generation. He thought the war was lost and that Iraq had sunk inexorably into chaos, but that did not affect his performance of his duty as a soldier. I would hate to see the dedication and high morale of these superb young men thrown away. I certainly hope the war in Iraq can be won for all concerned. My own generation has been somewhat of a disappointment to me, but I have the greatest admiration for the soldiers I saw in those videos. Too bad the general public only gets to see the propaganda of the Left and the Right from the news media. I could see a great documentary to be made using just the video of soldiers---but my film industry friends are not at all interested---not anti-American enough for them!! They are only interested in ideas which would show the war as an atrocity, and the U.S. as evil. This is why I reluctantly have to think many in my generation are thorough rotters. What a world!

My parents grew up in the Depression. My father was dirt poor. He became a deckhand on millionaires' yachts to make money. The aero industry boom in Southern California in the late 'thirties and before Pearl Harbor gave him a chance to make good money for the first time in his life. Being drafted was, for him, a disaster. My mother and her family rode out the Depression better through education and good luck. My father volunteered to be a submariner in the U.S. Navy. My mother taught bomber boys in an AAF school. My parents did the necessary to win the war. Dad gritted his teeth through some harrowing patrols as a diver/machinist. He came through the war unscathed, but with some nasty dreams which haunted him for years. The father of a friend of mine was in the U.S. Army in Italy. His recon unit operated behind enemy lines. He told me in '66 he had to shoot many Italians suspected of being fascists and he was bothered by what he had to do to survive. My father pretty much went on permanent shore leave after the war, made good money, married twice, fathered me, and slept with enough women to fill a dreadnought. My mother got on as a divorcee, raised me, and did a reasonably good job for a rabid feminist who disliked men. The father of my friend who was in Italy had some kind of breakdown in the early '70's. He was a hero as far as I was concerned. A hard but good man. I knew he hated what he had had to do in the war---he didn't try to justify the hard things he did. There are some who may consider men like him war criminals. My dad died like the tough as nails sailor he was at heart without complaint and without self pity. My mother is wrecked by osteoporosis. The father of my friend died ten years ago. My friend, who is rather frivolous, didn't grieve. They were a great group of people---I was raised hearing their stories of the war years. To me they were amazing. I dislike my generation's materialism, self-infatuation, narrowness of vision, and shallowness---not like I am above any of these things myself.

MO_JOJO
06-10-2006, 04:25 AM
I think contrary to Targ's estimation of the US values today versus WWII era. I think we are WAY, WAY softer...or maybe "opposite" is a better word to use. It wasn't that long ago when if a child were to backtalk their parent, they'd get a fresh beating...even in public. In our neighborhood, when I was a kid, if our parents came home and we were lying around watching TV (except in blizzard or thunderstorm conditions), we were chased outside. It wasn't an option...kids were to work or go outside and find something to do. Today, I take my kids places, we eat out almost everyday, and don't come home until dark. Financial status has much to do with it, I suppose, but we are very different than decades ago. On Easter Sunday, in years' past, neighbors left the house at the same time in their finest, because church was where you went, and they all started services/mass at 0700. Only the worst families didn't go to church, as I recall. Today, even I miss church more than I wish to. Hardly anyone I know attends regularly...it's uncool and eats into the golf time.

But with that all said, I also believe that as soft as we maybe, it wouldn't take long to revert to savage-like behavior if necessary to defend our country. There would be some attrition by the weak-minded who refuse to accept the change to survival mode, and by the overweight fatburgers that bask in the CRT glow of their Sony's. Come to think of it, the fat-bodies and drug-heads are probably the biggest threat to our national security, as compared to the ones who live the life of Riley.

leitmotiv
06-10-2006, 09:10 AM
Eagle_361st---you have my deepest admiration and thanks. I have no doubt that you are right it stating you and your comrades are engaged in a incredibly brutal war. IEDs, suicidal idiots in explosive vests or who wait behind doors ready to kill as many Americans as they can before being cut down, and suicidel car bomb drivers who just wait for a chance to ram a Bradley. Nobody will ever question your resolution and devotion to duty in the most harrowing circumstances possible. Our attrition battles in WWII lasted weeks, not years. Attrition warfare is the worst. No dashing operations like 1991 or the run across France in 1944. Just a daily grind of killing and trying to avoid being killed. It is WWI without the trenches.

AKA_TAGERT
06-10-2006, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
I had the opportunity to see video of our U.S. Army soldiers in Baghdad last year taken by a young man in a mech infantry unit who was the son of a friend. I was floored by the coolness and competency of the soldiers. And, gad, they were fit---they all looked like linebackers---not the same quality of troops as my, Vietnam, generation. He thought the war was lost and that Iraq had sunk inexorably into chaos, but that did not affect his performance of his duty as a soldier. I would hate to see the dedication and high morale of these superb young men thrown away. I certainly hope the war in Iraq can be won for all concerned. My own generation has been somewhat of a disappointment to me, but I have the greatest admiration for the soldiers I saw in those videos. Too bad the general public only gets to see the propaganda of the Left and the Right from the news media. I could see a great documentary to be made using just the video of soldiers---but my film industry friends are not at all interested---not anti-American enough for them!! They are only interested in ideas which would show the war as an atrocity, and the U.S. as evil. This is why I reluctantly have to think many in my generation are thorough rotters. What a world!

My parents grew up in the Depression. My father was dirt poor. He became a deckhand on millionaires' yachts to make money. The aero industry boom in Southern California in the late 'thirties and before Pearl Harbor gave him a chance to make good money for the first time in his life. Being drafted was, for him, a disaster. My mother and her family rode out the Depression better through education and good luck. My father volunteered to be a submariner in the U.S. Navy. My mother taught bomber boys in an AAF school. My parents did the necessary to win the war. Dad gritted his teeth through some harrowing patrols as a diver/machinist. He came through the war unscathed, but with some nasty dreams which haunted him for years. The father of a friend of mine was in the U.S. Army in Italy. His recon unit operated behind enemy lines. He told me in '66 he had to shoot many Italians suspected of being fascists and he was bothered by what he had to do to survive. My father pretty much went on permanent shore leave after the war, made good money, married twice, fathered me, and slept with enough women to fill a dreadnought. My mother got on as a divorcee, raised me, and did a reasonably good job for a rabid feminist who disliked men. The father of my friend who was in Italy had some kind of breakdown in the early '70's. He was a hero as far as I was concerned. A hard but good man. I knew he hated what he had had to do in the war---he didn't try to justify the hard things he did. There are some who may consider men like him war criminals. My dad died like the tough as nails sailor he was at heart without complaint and without self pity. My mother is wrecked by osteoporosis. The father of my friend died ten years ago. My friend, who is rather frivolous, didn't grieve. They were a great group of people---I was raised hearing their stories of the war years. To me they were amazing. I dislike my generation's materialism, self-infatuation, narrowness of vision, and shallowness---not like I am above any of these things myself. Agreed 100%

AKA_TAGERT
06-10-2006, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by MO_JOJO:
But with that all said, I also believe that as soft as we maybe, it wouldn't take long to revert to savage-like behavior if necessary to defend our country. There would be some attrition by the weak-minded who refuse to accept the change to survival mode, and by the overweight fatburgers that bask in the CRT glow of their Sony's. Come to think of it, the fat-bodies and drug-heads are probably the biggest threat to our national security, as compared to the ones who live the life of Riley. Agreed 100%

huggy87
06-10-2006, 11:10 AM
One thing their generation never had to contend with was the specter of armageddon. The fact that one nation can destroy all of humanity in less than an hour has certainly changed our psyche in the 60 years since WW2. People have seemed to have forgotten that knowledge, or buried it somewhere deep. It scares me chitless when I think about it. I'm surprised we haven't already disintegrated each other.

Jumoschlong
06-10-2006, 01:07 PM
I don't think the depression did anything but made everyone thrifty with a buck. Corporations took care of that American trait AFTER WWII by relentlessly promoting mindless consumerism, which is exactly what Americans are now, mindless consumers. In fact now when we go to war, it is so we can maintain our supply of consumer goods we are so hooked on, like our invasion of the middle east in an attempt to maintain the oil supply for our SUVs.

Someone who watches a Hollywood movie, and is taken in by it's dramatization and sensationalism of the truth, has their eyes filled with stars and then uses that as their history book, not to mention making far-reaching assumptions and theories on it,is also typically a modern American.

Hey my first post ever! Let's have a party!

High five!

Jumo******* http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

MB_Avro_UK
06-10-2006, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by Friendly_flyer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by triad773:
Also I beleive that society has changed in that people are generally more selfish (here in the US anyway,) and thus a proportion not AS willing to give thier lives/commmitment the way they did then.


Nice post... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

I used to think a lot like you: Modern society is al about material wealth and sneaking away from responsibility. Then I had an eye-opener experience:

In the early 1990€ies, one of the large rivers here in Norway burst its banks and started flooding a small town. Having seen the fight against the water on the news, I took the train up there to help out. I was not the only one. There was a veritable exodus of young people out of Oslo to help building barriers, carrying heavy furniture, filling sandbags etc. Girls not strong enough for hard labore carried drinking water to the workers, I even saw two women making a very 40ish looking sandwich stand, giving away food to people building a dam along their street.

People are more than willing to chip in, given the opportunity to do so. In our modern Western world, we are given very little chance to help out, no wonder we appear selfish and soft. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

AKA_TAGERT
06-10-2006, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Jumo*******:
In fact now when we go to war, it is so we can maintain our supply of consumer goods we are so hooked on, like our invasion of the middle east in an attempt to maintain the oil supply for our SUVs. what a smacktard

heywooood
06-10-2006, 11:09 PM
I used to wonder what it would take to motivate a full fledged rush to arms by the general population - like the attack on Pearl Harbor created for the USA - or the invasion of Poland/France by Germany did for GB...

Then there was 911 - and there was some enlistment, but not as much as I had expected - I am an old guy now so enlisting was not possible for me, but I was angry enough...but there was no clear enemy. Sure - there was Afganistan and Bin Laden...but no real declared enemy - not like fighting a national military like the Wehrmacht or the Imperial Japanese Forces.
It makes it difficult to get motivated and get people fired up - "lets go get ...those...guys over there...because they..might be terrorists"
Lets face it, its alot easier to call the masses to arms when you have a clearly defined enemy all uniformed up and looking like a real enemy should.
Maybe that would help explain the invasion of Iraq to some degree...they had a military of sorts...some uniforms - some tanks - and some buildings to call command and control centers, ideal targets for expensive ordinance to destroy. That might aid recruiting...especially if it was all televised.

But it only increased the call slightly, not the really overwhelming returns the pentagon wanted. Oh well - we can still claim to be tying up the bad guys in their own backyards so they can't cause trouble elsewhere. For the most part, that is exactly what is happening...except for the train station attack in Spain and the commuter train/bus attack in London...both very serious and painful reminders that this is a new era we are living in. But instead of re-inforcing the notion that more soldiers are needed to combat this carp...Spain decided to reduce their participation and GB has increased pressure on their leadership to do the same.

It seems in some ways to be similar to the years leading up to 1940 in Europe...Germany began building an army as early as 1930 but no one wanted to face the fact that yet another major conflict was imminent. Only a few saw the writing on the wall and asked their government for money to build new ships and planes to fight with. They were ridiculed right up until Czeckoslovakia fell, even with the conflict in Spain raging, there was little support for re arming of any kind.

Are we looking at a similar scenario now?....is this just the opening game for a much larger conflagration? I wonder if the 911 attack was a wake up call like Guernica...a wake up call that went largly unheeded. Because if we wait for a modern day Pearl Harbor or Blitzkrieg in Poland, it will be too late.

Iran must not have nuclear power plants...they say they need them to meet energy needs but they have more than enough oil for that...don't they?
North Korea must not have nuclear reactors either...but somehow I think China will handle that one. You can't have that kind of thing next door can you?...JFK didn't think so.

AKA_TAGERT
06-11-2006, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by heywooood:
It makes it difficult to get motivated and get people fired up - "lets go get ...those...guys over there...because they..might be terrorists" Which is why I think the XGEN is so special.. and the guys in KOREA and NAM! Joining up in WWII was a no brainer! Dont get me wrong, I still admire that generations no nosence black and white aproach to everything.. I wish we had more of that today.. but the men that joinned in KOREA, NAM, and now are the best of the best, in that they are doing what NEEDS to be done even when some of your very own country men are so clueless they dont even realise it needs to be done, and then there are the smacktards that are saying it should not be done at all. Hard to get motivated when sourounded by those types, where as in WWII the majority were all on the same page.