do not mention the war

England vs Germany. Podcast

In Football on April 15, 2018 at 13:33

I’ve had the pleasure to speak with Chris of the website Outside Write about the topic that I have studied and researched for my PhD: England vs Germany and its reverberations on and off the pitch, especially on the sports press in England.

Before Germany could play England the game had to come to Germany, something which this podcast also touches upon.

Once football became the most popular sporting pastime in Germany, the development of the game began and in 1930 almost brought rewards: Germany took a 3-0 lead but had to live with a 3-3 draw after England scored late to save their immaculate record against Germany.

The next stop is the World Cup Final of 1966 when England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time. It was the climax for English football. Since then Germany have mostly stood in the way of England, like in 1970 and again in 1982, 1990 and 1996.

The episode also mentions Brexit briefly and the current political climate in which the tone of the press coverage has become once again more aggressive as it had been in the 1980s and 1990s.

Could it happen again? Yes, England and Germany could meet again. Though the latter would be considered favourites, it is not a given that England have no chance to go through. Everything has to click for England if they really want to beat Germany again in a competitive match.

Have a listen to this podcast episode and let me and Chris know what you think.

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Short Memory

In Cold War on April 2, 2018 at 07:47

The whole affair of Russia getting involved in or influencing the last US election and Brexit is a discussion led with a short memory. The recent spy affair only adds to that.

The German Potato

In History on March 7, 2018 at 10:00

During World War I the German press and propaganda machine has attempted every trick in the book to raise morale. This leaflet from 1917 addressed German farmers to produce more potatoes as it was hoped that the German potato could make the difference in the war effort.

The German Potato must defeat England

This is the message the leaflet tries to bring across. In order to increase output of spuds the German government offered financial incentives such as 35 Marks for roughly 2500sqm extra area dedicated to potatoes.

To the left and right the leaflet shows the overall area available to provide the vegetable. In 1914 there were 3.38 million hectares available which has shrunk to 2.41 million hectares in 1917. This is a significant decrease and underlines the urgency which with the German government pleaded with the farmers in order to get more crops out of less soil. The effort was in vain as it turned out. Despite the peace agreement with Russia at the Eastern front the war efforts were futile and finally led to the ceasefire which was signed in 1918 and which led to catastrophic developments in the cause of the 20th. century.

The attempt to turn the odds around with potatoes speaks of the desperation of the German government to mobilise anything in order to win the war. What this possibly has achieved however was prolonged fighting and thus more fatalities on both sides of the Western front.

The Great War (in Britain) or the First World War (in Germany) was not decided by the amount of potatoes grown but was decided by the fact that the German has become untenable which led to the ceasefire from November 11, 1918.

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