Long Way Home

Long Way Home
During World War 2, Pine Camp, New York was greatly expanded in order to train the 4th and 5th Armored Divisions and the 45th Infantry Division, but it also housed enemy prisoners as well. A few, like Christian Huppertz, died in captivity. If their families could not be located, they were buried in a small plot next to Sheepfold Cemetery near Great Bend, Jefferson County, New York. Today, Pine Camp is known as Fort Drum and is home to the 10th Mountain Division. The small POW cemetery is well maintained. It contains the graves of six German and one Italian prisoners of war.
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Should Time Travelers Kill Baby Hitler?

This is a serious topic of discussion in today’s Bizzaro World.

At a live broadcast at the March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, political commentator Ben Shapiro made the claim that no one who is pro life (or anti-abortion) would go back in time and kill notorious 20th Century German dictator Adolph Hitler when he was a baby. Shapiro’s critics seized on this opportunity to mercilessly attack him, and so far, have even gotten two sponsors to leave his show in protest.

Shapiro’s statement is perhaps more shocking because he is an outspoken Orthodox Jew, and Hitler was responsible for the targeted mass murder of millions of European Jews during WW2. While it’s rarely a good idea to mix history and politics, the ethical question of killing Hitler as a baby is an interesting one.

Hitler, who rose to power in Germany in 1934 and reigned as absolute dictator until his suicide in 1945, is almost solely responsible for the Second World War (in Europe, anyway) and subsequently the deaths of millions of people. Could this apocalyptic war be prevented if someone went back in time and killed Hitler when he was a baby?

Ben Shapiro’s reply to this hypothetical scenario was that, as a baby, Hitler had the potential to be anything. He could have, given different circumstances, gone on to live a normal and unremarkable life. The entire premise of the time travel murder theory is that Hitler’s life trajectory was inevitable, or it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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The Secret Scripture: A Romantic Irish Tale

An elderly woman with an enigmatic past pines her days away in an asylum, until a doctor begins investigating her case and ultimately gives them both a second chance at life in The Secret Scripture (2016). It is a romantic tale filmed on location in Ireland and is one of those films audiences seemed to like but critics panned. Beautiful cinematography and emotional depth masks an otherwise ridiculous plot.

The Secret Scripture is based on a novel of the same name by Sebastian Barry, author of A Long Long Way (2005). It was released in Canada and the U.K. in 2016 but came to the U.S. in October of this year. It was adapted for the screen and directed by Jim Sheridan, who also directed My Left Foot (1989) and The Boxer (1997). Both Sebastian Barry and Jim Sheridan were born in Dublin and have focused their careers on highlighting the Irish experience.

The film centers on Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave), an elderly woman in a mental institution who allegedly murdered her child. Dr. William Grene (Eric Bana) comes to evaluate Rose to see if she is sane enough to live on her own, because the institution is being remodeled into a spa. Dr. Grene becomes fascinated with her life story after discovering a journal she’s kept, written on the pages of a Bible.

As a young woman, Rose (Rooney Mara) lives in Belfast with her sweetheart, Michael McNulty (Jack Reynor). He leaves to join the British air force during World War 2. She moves to the Irish countryside to escape the German bombing raids, only to run afoul of local conventions. After being exiled from her aunt’s cafe to an isolated cottage, Michael just so happens to be shot down in her backyard and she hides him from Irish partisans.

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Hearts of Iron IV Minor Nation Strategies: Spain

spainWelcome to the latest in a series of posts looking at minor countries in the game Hearts of Iron IV by Paradox Entertainment. Hearts of Iron IV is an epic historical simulator that allows you to experience the Second World War as any country, and perhaps, change history. These articles examine the benefits and drawbacks of playing as any of dozens of minor countries in HOI IV. This week I’ll be looking at Spain.

Spain hardly qualifies as a minor power, but because it sat on the sidelines in World War 2, it can be considered such for the purposes of this game. From July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939, Spain was wracked by a civil war caused when nationalist forces rebelled against the Second Spanish Republic. The war was a glimpse of things to come, as fascists, communists, and democrats sent volunteers, supplies, and weapons to support opposing sides. Eventually, the nationalists triumphed and Francisco Franco became its leader. Spain remained neutral during World War 2, declining to support Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

What if Nationalist Spain had joined the war? Or, more interestingly, what if the Republicans won and Spain aligned itself with the Allies or the Soviet Union? Either outcome could radically alter the course of the war.

Spain starts the game in 1936 as a democratic regime with 50% national unity. It has a volunteer army, export trade focus, and civilian economy. The fascist party, led by Francisco Franco, has 46% popularity, the democratic party, led by Manuel Azana, has 47%, the communist party, led by Jose Diaz, has 7% support, and the nonaligned party has zero support. The next election will be held in February 1936.

Spain is divided into 15 states, including four in Africa, with mostly hilly and mountainous terrain. The western province of Galicia is almost entirely forest. Its resources are spread out over a wide area. In terms of industry, it has 7 military and 16 civilian factories, 4 naval dockyards, plus 47 additional open slots, 68 steel, 6 tungsten, and 2 aluminum. You can appoint Francisco Largo Caballero, a captain of industry, who grants +10% construction speed to civilian factories, infrastructure, and refineries.

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Hearts of Iron IV Minor Nation Strategies: Hungary

screenshot-179Welcome to the latest in a series of posts looking at minor countries in the game Hearts of Iron IV by Paradox Entertainment. Hearts of Iron IV is an epic historical simulator that allows you to experience the Second World War as any country, and perhaps, change history. These articles examine the benefits and drawbacks of playing as any of dozens of minor countries in HOI IV. This week I’ll be looking at Hungary.

Historically, Hungary was a close ally of Nazi Germany and joined the Axis in 1940. It participated in the invasions of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, however, its army was virtually destroyed at Stalingrad and Voronezh. Miklós Horthy, acting as regent for King Charles IV (in exile), engaged in backdoor negotiations with the Allies and eventually the Soviet Union, leading to a German coup in 1944. Can you steer Hungary toward a different fate?

Hungary starts the game in 1936 as a fascist kingdom with 70% national unity. It has a volunteer army, export trade focus, and civilian economy. The fascist party, led by Miklos Horthy, has 54% popularity, the democratic party, led by Arpad Szakasits, has 43%, the communist party, led by Matyas Kakosi, has 3% support, and the nonaligned party has zero support. The next election will be held in March 1939.

Hungary is divided into three states: Transdanubia, Northern Hungary, and Alfold, with mixed clear and forest terrain. Its resources are concentrated in Northern Hungary. In terms of industry, it has 6 military and 10 civilian factories, plus 4 additional open slots, 1 oil, 4 steel, and 194 aluminum. With all industrial techs and National Focuses researched, Hungary will have a maximum of 46 unlocked building slots in its three core states, 57 if you include Southern Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia.

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Hearts of Iron IV Minor Nation Strategies: Romania

screenshot-151Welcome to the latest in a series of posts looking at minor countries in the game Hearts of Iron IV by Paradox Entertainment. Hearts of Iron IV is an epic historical simulator that allows you to experience the Second World War as any country, and perhaps, change history. These articles examine the benefits and drawbacks of playing as any of dozens of minor countries in HOI IV. This week I’ll be looking at Romania.

After WW1, Romania received the territories of Transylvania (1920), Bukovina (1919), and Bessarabia (1920), doubling its size. Transylvania in particular was a bone of contention between Hungary and Romania. Prior to joining Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, Romania lost territory to Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union through German arbitration. Romania contributed over 1.2 million men to Operation Barbarossa, but switched sides in 1944 and joined the Allies. It became a Soviet puppet after the war. Can you steer Romania toward a different fate?

Romania begins the game in 1936 as a non-aligned democracy led by Armand Calinescu. It has the national spirit Neutral Foreign Policy, which inflicts the following penalties: Join faction tension limit: +100%, Send volunteers tension limit: +20%, Guarantee tension limit: +100%, AI Modifier: Threat receptivity: +1%, AI Modifier: Desire to be in or expand a faction: −100. It has a volunteer army, export trade focus, and civilian economy.

The next election will be held in December 1937. The fascist party, led by Ion Antonescu, has 18% popularity, the democratic party, led by Armand Calinescu, has 20%, the communist party, led by Constantin Ion Parhon, has 2% support, and the nonaligned party, led by Gheorghe Tatarescu, has 60% support.

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Hearts of Iron IV Minor Nation Strategies: Sweden

screenshot-178Welcome to the latest in a series of posts looking at minor countries in the game Hearts of Iron IV by Paradox Entertainment. Hearts of Iron IV is an epic historical simulator that allows you to experience the Second World War as any country, and perhaps, change history. These articles examine the benefits and drawbacks of playing as any of dozens of minor countries in HOI IV. This week I’ll be looking at Sweden.

Sweden starts the game in 1936 with a neutral democratic government led by Per Albin Hansson, with the national spirits of En Svensk Tiger and Neutral Foreign Policy and national unity of 90%. En Svensk Tiger grants +10% to ideology drift defense and +10% to foreign justify war goal cost. Sweden has a volunteer military, civilian economy, and an export focused trade law. Its ruling party, Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetarparti, has 75% popularity. The fascist party, led by Sven Olov Lindholm, has 3% support, the non-aligned party, led by Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp, has 14%, and the communist party, led by Sven Linderot, has 8%.

In terms of industry, it has 3 military and 10 civilian factories, 3 naval dockyards, plus 14 additional open slots, 4 aluminum, 202 steel, 40 chromium, and 70 tungsten. Minister Ernst Wigforss, a captain of industry, grants +10% civilian factory, infrastructure, and refinery construction speeds. With all industrial techs and National Focuses researched, Sweden will have a maximum of 68 unlocked building slots.

Sweden has a well-rounded military and strong navy. It has 11 infantry and 1 cavalry divisions, 9 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, 6 destroyers and 10 submarines, and 36 close air support planes, 30 fighter planes, and 12 carrier naval bombers. It has 9,560 manpower initially available for new units, and two generals available to command your troops. General Erik af Edholm has a skill level of 4 and is a hill fighter, granting him a +5% movement, and +10% attack and defense in hills. General Folke Hogberg has a skill level of 3 and is a commando, granting him a -50% out of supply bonus. Sweden also has one admiral initially available: Claes Lindstrom, skill level 4. Admiral Lindstrom is a blockade runner, which grants a +20% to retreat decision chance and +25% to fleet speed while retreating.

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