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Ketalar
05-10-2005, 01:06 PM
I decided to ask you people since I've been discussing this question with my girlfriend and we failed to come to any sort of conclusion.


Why do so many hold an interest in WWII out of all the wars that have taken place/are taking place?

Why out of all the historic wars do we find WWII so fascinating? What about WWI? I get the feeling that that war and others come in second place regarding interest. And the recent ones? Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Africa, Iraq? Do these fail to intrigue since they didn't span the globe?

Does WWII keep our interest because we can romanticize about it? The "good" winning over the "evil", a "clean war" without tons of landmines and ABC-weapons (well...), it's in recent memory with veterans still alive to tell the stories. And why do we fail to give proper attention to all the recent wars? Does it hurt our conciences too much to think about it?


I personnaly think it's a combination of all this. There's lots of information available, we're told about it from childhood and it also allows us to play games (I know I played with toy soldiers and played war with my friends) and imagine being a pilot for instance. I also can admit that I fail to give proper attention to all the recent wars because I see lots of hurt people every day and I don't want to think about more people in pain when I can't be there to help them.

What are your thoughts on this? (Sorry for the inadvertent rant...)

Worf101
05-10-2005, 01:34 PM
There are a number of reasons.

1. The scope... the sheer size of it all meant that there were few places of peoples left "untouched" by it all.

2. Your parents or grandparents, depending on your age, probably fought in that war or lived through it. Oral history, uniforms etc.. strong stuff.

3. It was the first true "movie war". Much like Viet Nam was the first "Television War" WWII was the first "movie war". Hollywood enlisted en masse you had newsreel footage, films etc... almost before Pearl Harbor had stopped smoking.
Me I was raised on a steady diet of WWII movies as a kid. You can't watch Howard Hawks "Air Force" 60 plust times and not be affected by it.

4. It was/is the last "good war". No ambiguity about this one. Kill those bastards or they're sure enough gonna come here and kill you.

Those are my reasons for my fascination with it, but I must admit I'm almost as big a Civil War buff too.

Da Worfster

marine428
05-10-2005, 01:36 PM
For me it has a lot to do with technology. Almost everything we use in todays military got its start or was greatly accelerated because of WWII. Ballistic missles, jet airplanes, SAMs, radar, aircraft carriers, cruise missles, atomic weapons, helos, ect. There is also a great deal of awesome quotes that are used in everyday conversations. My fasination started when I was very young. I can't really explain why WWII sticks out like that. I guess everyone has their reasons.

jugent
05-10-2005, 02:04 PM
According to Sigmund Freud have men easy to aggression.

And he said "All men are heroes in their dreams"
War is a good arena for heroes.

Its more correct to be a hero and kill in a war that stood against a terrible dictator like hitler and his gang.

It would be more doubtful to be a hero for example the indian wars where technically superior and overwhelming in force US cavalary slaughtered an indian tribe.
Another reason is that militarism and heroism is more easy for men to accept, than it is for women, and our society is dominated by male thoughts.
The Sims is very popular by females. They dont kill each other so much in Sims, dont they?
No war is clean and after a while the horror is forgotten.
A cant understand how the Viet Nahm war can be the place for a game.
The worlds greatest military and economical power to part in an post-colonial war.
To the costs of bilions of dollars, thousands of traumatized soldiers three million civilians killed.
Ecological disaster over many years, today impossible to overlook.
Corean war was different.

Doug_Thompson
05-10-2005, 02:09 PM
It was decisive. Most wars are not. WWI is an excellent example. If WWI had been decisive, there would have been no WWII.

Capt._Tenneal
05-10-2005, 02:14 PM
Most modern wars have very vague or doubtful reasons for starting and have uncertain conclusions. People are still figuring out whether the war truly ended or who won. With WW II there is no doubt : the war was to stop fascism or militarism (in the Pacific), the "bad guys" struck the first blow so the victors were responding to an attack against them, and the there was a definite conclusion (VE day and VJ day).

As some have said, the sheer scope of the fighting was a big factor too.

Also, with any good story, the cast of characters helped a lot too. WW II had some of the most colorful personalities of any war.

Dew-Claw
05-10-2005, 03:50 PM
Because many who experianced it are still alive and thier stories still make the rounds.
The war touched everyone on the planet in one way or another, and untill all those people are gone the intrest won't ease.

I still remember the hoopla and rehashing of stories after the death of the last survivor of the civil war in the 1960's I believe.

Its a war that changed everything, the world was a very different place at its end. the old sociaty was the wars 1st casualty.
Changes that drastic leave a lasting impression.

T_O_A_D
05-10-2005, 03:52 PM
Me personaly,

Its not too primative, and not too High tech. Just about right, for being interesting.

Von_Zero
05-10-2005, 04:06 PM
I always had a passion for history and planes... IMO, WWII is the place where both get togheter in an outstanding manner...
Other wars.. oh, well, the others explained the reasons already. Modern wars (post-WWII, with the exception of the "6-days war" wich i find it another fascinating story) just don't have a real motivation behind them... too much politics...

PBNA-Boosher
05-10-2005, 04:10 PM
Aviation and war in general are my thing. I'm a much bigger WW1 air war fan than I am a WW2 air war fan, but there's no good aviation sim that can beat this.

SeaFireLIV
05-10-2005, 04:17 PM
I think Worf101 said it best overall.

piloteer81
05-10-2005, 04:52 PM
The main reason WW2 is such a popular theme for sims, is that the success of air battles were primarily down to the skill of the individual/s. Much more depended on the man than on the machine than it does today.

Try flying and fighting an F15 after 7 hours training. People did this (with Spitfires and Hurricanes) throughout WW2, leading up to the Battle of Britain especially. In essence, the aircraft were much simpler and had similar performance, so it was down to the individual to succeed and the more physically capable and well suited to air combat you were, the more likely you were to survive. This is emphasised in FB/PF as anyone who is familiar with flight controls could spend 1 min looking at the manual and be up shooting at stuff. Try doing this with Lo-mac!

Today, anyone who is physically fit could be trained as a half decent F15 pilot. It is more about mastering the systems than actually flying the plane.

Also WW2 is much more 'nitty gritty' than modern era flight combat. You can see the enemy and shoot him down with lots of smoke and flames. This is a reason why I'd love to see a WW1 sim taking advantage of modern graphics as there were plenty of great planes and battles in WW1.

han freak solo
05-10-2005, 05:18 PM
Bump for Worf101.

AlGroover
05-10-2005, 06:22 PM
All good reasons. WW2 is also the defining event, at least for those of us in the English speaking world. It tells us who we are and who we are not and where we have come from. See how easily we speak of 'pre war', 'post war', 'THE war' and no one says "Which one." This might have much to do with the Cold War in entrenching the importance of WW2.

blakduk
05-10-2005, 08:34 PM
Worf101 makes a lot of good points.
I think the other reasons are:
1) Democracy d*mn near got stamped out in Europe
2) Industrialised nations with highly educated populations were under very real threat. Facism was the 'dawn of a new dark age' that thankfully was squashed.
3) It was the last time 'total war' could be engaged in. As a species we cannot allow things to get that out-of-control again lest we make ourselves extinct.
At the end of WW2 the use of nukes shocked even the most war weary. It was like we suddenly woke up that we really could cause the end of all things.
Also, when the shooting stopped and the horrors of the holocaust were unveiled, no-one had any doubts in the west that we had fought the good fight.

VOL_Hans
05-10-2005, 09:35 PM
WWII seems to have something special about it that no other war has. The technology and tactics involved, and the fact that rather than dealing with political arguments or public opinion after the war, it was simply time to take a deep breath and rebuild.

Infantry went from bolt action long rifles, and heavy fixed machine guns, to the automatic rifles, assault rifles, easily portable light machineguns, sub-machineguns, and anti-tanks rockets.

Aircraft went from simple slow biplanes, to heavily armed, fast, armor plated monoplanes and high altitude bombers, and the first jets were introduced at the end.

Ships went from tin cans to large battleships, cruisers, and destroyers with fire control rader. Aircraft carries were introduced and used on mass scale.

Submarines went from small, underpowered beercans with steam torpedoes, to sleek underwater killing machines. Electric torpedoes eliminated the issue of torpedo wake, pattern running torpedoes bounced around inside convoys, and the first acoustic homing torpedoes came in late in the war. The 'Schnorkel' allowed submarines to spend all of their time under water, never needing to surface.

The entire world was wrapped up in war, and for a time it seemed as if the Germans might just take all of Europe and the Japanese take over the Pacific. Cameras where there to catch it all on film, and many people can still talk to veterans who were at some of the famous battles in person.

In Korea and Vietnam we saw the use of many weapons inspired by WWII tactics or technology. Many weapons used today still draw from WWII weaponry.

The very first nuclear weapons were also used for the first and only time in anger.

WWII was also one of the last wars to be clear cut: 'There is the enemy, kill him.' Only a few wars after that have been so simple.

WTE_Ibis
05-11-2005, 02:34 AM
WW1 is a little too far back in history, a little like the battle of Waterloo but WW11,well, now we know if that had turned out differently it would have directly affected all of us,the language we now speak,the governing powers we have now not to mention religon,civil liberties,freedom of speech.It would be very interesting to see the "what if" scenareo had things gone differently and there could have been a few different results if not for luck, fate? misfortune? gallantry, planning, heroism and sheer doggedness along with other circumstances..and not to forget the sacrifices of millions on both sides.

LEST WE FORGET.

Pirschjaeger
05-11-2005, 03:11 AM
The availability of info, photos, and footage.

It was not so long ago.

It's something we all have in common.

Cool uniforms and weapons, including machinery.

Fritz Franzen

Pirschjaeger
05-11-2005, 03:17 AM
Ooops, I almost forgot,....Hollywood.

WTE_Ibis
05-11-2005, 03:26 AM
After "Pearl Harbour" Bollywood has more cred.

AWL_Spinner
05-11-2005, 04:02 AM
Because it's (well, for our generation(s)) utterly incorporated into our social makeup and sense of identity. For one, from 1940 right up to about 1980 media output was fuelled to a large extent by war imagery.

I grew up with (and I'm sure I'm not alone) Airfix kits, 633 Squadron and the Dambusters on the TV, "Allo Allo" on the telly and Commando comics.

Also, both Grandads were involved in the war and there were respective hand-me-downs and heirlooms to be fascinated by whilst growing up. All of my parents generation were very knowledgeable of the era from their own parents experiences. My dad used to take me to warbird airshows - after all it was still only one generation away for him.

Personally I also have a huge interest in the society of the time. Values and morals were very, very different then and I find that historically fascinating.

This generation growing up now will I'm sure not have the same inherent fascination. No war-time grandads for them. No time to build airfix models when you've a Playstation and no need to look to the war for juvenile excitement when you've Halo and Doom III. There's a far more diverse popular culture driving film and TV output. Whilst people still turn out in their droves for wartime drama - increasingly it's the parents, and not the kids.

Although I can't imagine any child would not be moved by the sound of a Merlin. I'll certainly be taking my kids to airshows!

skabbe
05-11-2005, 04:21 AM
Because its the largest war and the latest war. they say that WW2 is the mother of all the modern wars. the coold war started when the russians and the americans stod nose to nose in berlin.

Pirschjaeger
05-11-2005, 04:28 AM
Just wanted to expand on why I mentioned Hollywood.

Hollywood has been very influential to the whole world and very much to American society. Vietnam and Korea are still somewhat contravercial in the American society and do not invoke pride on all, and therefor a sometimes touchy subject. America played a great role in the success of WW2 both in materials and lives and Americans are proud of this. And why shouldn't they be?

Hollywood, an American icon, has made many movies about WW2, some good, some bad, but one thing they all have in common is American pride in what was achieved.

No matter what country you are from, a movie reminding you of the good deeds or successes of your nation will make you feel good.

Hollywood, internationally, has brought many WW2 movies into our living rooms and has made WW2 very familiar to all. It's taken us into the times, lives, and minds of the soldiers and civilians. Even people not interested in WW2 or history can tell you who is who simply by the uniforms or insignias. Hollywood has made WW2 something in common amoung us all, just as Oleg has brought this community together.

Band of Brothers is a very popular and well respected movie here in China.

Fritz Franzen

cmw1980
05-11-2005, 04:45 AM
The interest for me is in trying to learn what it must have been like for my grandfather. He was a great and inspiring man, and never seemed to let a day go by without mentioning in one way or another, memories of what he'd been through. He managed to do this without ever saying "during the war... " or "when I fought in...". He encouraged me to see and follow my dreams, and as a result Im now a musician who gets paid to travell and play music like he wanted to do. He lost his two older brothers to the war, one in Tunisia (a spitfire pilot) and another in Thailand (He was killed on the bridge over the river Quai, whilst being forced to build it). If I was him, I'd be full of hate and despise the world. He fought in north Africa as a tank commander, so you'd expect him to be a bit fed up with deserts and hot weather, Italians and Germans. Instead, he became good friends with a German ex-soldier the same age as him, and often visited Italy and Egypt, but unfortunatly never got round to seeing Thailand. By trying to understand the biggest events of my grandfathers life and how it shaped him to the broad minded and compassionate man he was/is, I think I can learn a lot about life.
p.s, I could swear I heard him laughing and saying "what a **** fool Anthony Blair is" on the election day morning http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

HotelBushranger
05-11-2005, 05:08 AM
I just recently found out I had a great-great uncle or something who was in the RAAF, shot down and killed in 1945. On my fathers side there might have been those who fought for Finland against the Russians, but there are no records or tales from relies that I have, so I have no idea. And that's the only connection I have with WW2. The reason I'm interested in it, is...I dunno. Ever since I was born I've had a natural affinity with fighting forces. I have more respect for soldiers than for anyone else. They knowingly gave their lives for what they beleived in, undertaking huge, seemingly impossible tasks for a human being, but they still fought on. I find that very inspirational.
I've always been an aero fan, and civil planes just didn't cut it for me. I was attracted by these mean, sleek, fast looking birds of prey, guns sticking out of their noses spouting lead, it was exciting for me. I'm an adrenalin junkie, really. And I suppose it's just natural for human beings to be violent towards one another, so thats not my fault http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It is a toss up for me between world wars 1 and 2. But I suppose WW2 wins because there were a lot more documented events, and it covered everywhere. It also was the only time enemy forces have directly attacked Australia, so that's also a big thing for me.

And that's about it from me

Bearcat99
05-11-2005, 05:36 AM
For me it is all of the above..... It seems to me that WW2 is such a crucial period in our history as a people. Just about all of who we are today was defined in that period. I have been fascinated with WW2 since I was a kid..... WW1 and the Civil war as well. WW2 was to the world what the Civil war was to the U.S.

CzechTexan
05-11-2005, 07:16 AM
Excellent point made Bearcat.

This was truly a world war and a total war, meaning the total attempt and destruction of other nations or groups of people. It was a HUGE event in terms of manpower and machinery put towards war. No other war compares to it in scale and sheer size, not even WWI. Our modern world is a reflection of the events of WW2. The modern industrialized nations have learned to not let this happen again. And, like someone else said, it was like the granddaddy of all wars, the mother of all wars, or something like that. There never was and never will be in the future (hopefully) any other war like WW2.

bazzaah2
05-11-2005, 08:05 AM
It ushered in the dawn of our age. It was a momentous, tragic, era-defining conflict. People are still alive that took part in it and so we can understand what that means in human terms too.

How anyone could not be interested in WW2, it seems to me, is the better question.

OldMan____
05-11-2005, 08:28 AM
Because it was the LAST true war. We still life the direct effects of it.


From 45 on we had no other real wars among powerful nations. Iraq ? LOLL Viatnam? A skquirmish that was boldly conducted in order to avoid a true war. Coreia? That was just the epilogue of WW2.. nothing else.


So the last war... nothing compares to it, unless you bring Crusades on the discussion.


And MOST interesting. Is the ONLY war that I remember that no HARD feeling were left among the previous enemies ( forgetting very small personal exceptions)... strage huh?

LuckyBoy1
05-11-2005, 08:57 AM
Why so much interest in WWII?

Well, it's kinda like a defining moment in history. Kinda like there was time before and after the Christ, there was the world before and after WWII.

You might ask yourself how this was different from before and after WWI and that would be a very good question. Before WWI you had Kingdoms that were trying to expand based on a system of royal empire and not a rebublic. True enough that the Russian revolution happened during this time, but all that did was make the other countries in Europe more paranoid about moving to a republican based system. In fact, we all seem to forget about the dirty little war we fought after WWI to try and overthrow the Russian system.

WWI was settled based on a doctrine of loser pays and to the winner goes the spoils of war, which by the way, was the historic way of handling it.

WWII was settled a bit differently. The world map was basically rewritten with a new East against West thing that we called the cold war. We rebuilt rather than just punished the defeated countries and as a result, the world can easily be divided as a world before and after WWII. The results of WWII are still to be completely played out. Everything from Korea to the present conflicts are a result of unfinished business from WWII. Where do you think Saudi Arabia came from? What even made a North vs. South Korea or Vietnam? With the almost exception of the Americas (remember there was Cuba and for a minute a couple of Central American countries caught up in all the cold war stuff) the entire world was defined by WWII. China vs. Taiwan and India vs. Pakistan and also how Russia sucked up many of the as I put it... Stan lands...

And how this is all still working it's way out today.

Let's face it, WWII is STILL with us today and we will be dealing with it for at least the next 100 years and the world will never be defined as anything other than before and after WWII as far as the major modern defining historic moment.

Spartan_GR
05-11-2005, 10:53 AM
There is something else. The list of the countries that participated in the war ( except the great powers of the time ) is so great that almost all over the world every nation has a chapter in its history about that war, and even people that lived it.

This war was a true world war ( at least after 1941 ) Almost every continent of the planet saw battles in its soil.

LilHorse
05-11-2005, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Ketalar:
I decided to ask you people since I've been discussing this question with my girlfriend and we failed to come to any sort of conclusion.


Why do so many hold an interest in WWII out of all the wars that have taken place/are taking place?

Why out of all the historic wars do we find WWII so fascinating? What about WWI? I get the feeling that that war and others come in second place regarding interest. And the recent ones? Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Africa, Iraq? Do these fail to intrigue since they didn't span the globe?

Does WWII keep our interest because we can romanticize about it? The "good" winning over the "evil", a "clean war" without tons of landmines and ABC-weapons (well...), it's in recent memory with veterans still alive to tell the stories. And why do we fail to give proper attention to all the recent wars? Does it hurt our conciences too much to think about it?


I personnaly think it's a combination of all this. There's lots of information available, we're told about it from childhood and it also allows us to play games (I know I played with toy soldiers and played war with my friends) and imagine being a pilot for instance. I also can admit that I fail to give proper attention to all the recent wars because I see lots of hurt people every day and I don't want to think about more people in pain when I can't be there to help them.

What are your thoughts on this? (Sorry for the inadvertent rant...)

It's simply this: It's the biggest thing that has ever happened in human history. Sad that a war has to take that spot, but it's true.

There has simply never before or since been anything like it (and let's hope there never will be anything like it again)in scale and impact on our world. Almost everything about our present day world, politics, conflicts, computers and other technology, production, economics, ethics...one could go on and on, has been shaped by WWII. Hope this ground hasn't been covered yet.

blairgowrie
05-11-2005, 04:29 PM
I think the key issue for the popularity of WW2 was the scope of the war mentioned by one of the early posters. Not only was the war fought on many fronts, it was fought in many exciting ways. There were the great tank battles in the deserts with Rommel and the British. The tank busting by the Desert Air Force. The massive tank battles between the Germans and the Russians. The Battle of Britain and subsequent daylight and night bombing raid by the B17's and the Lancs and Halifaxes. The great carrier battles in the Pacific and although it was a cowardly act, Pearl Harbour was a brilliantly and well executed attack.

There were so many platforms that it is no wonder that Hollywood and British Film Studios had a field day.

Anyone remember the movie "Stairway to Heaven" with David Niven and Marius Goring, I think it was? It was all about a fighter pilot who gets called up to heaven by accident before his time. There is a big stairway up to heaven and all the people who are killed in the war travel up it. The movie gives the impression that the dead people are all happy and diminishes the fact that they have just been horribly killed. Niven eventually convinces the authorities there has been a terrible mistake and is last seen running back down the stairway.

I may try and get a copy of it. It is really a classic.

NorrisMcWhirter
05-11-2005, 04:53 PM
War is ridiculous but WW2 seemed to be a little less ridiculous than sitting in trenches for 4 years and arbitrarily wasting lives to gain a couple of yards for a week or, to the other extreme, a nuclear holocaust.

WW2 spawned some major engineering and scientific advances offset by the depravity of certain leaders.

Fundamentally, piston engined warplanes are of great interest to me. I don't like jets (apart from the 262) nor do I like biplanes.

In short, it's fascinating.

Cheers,
Norris

blairgowrie
05-11-2005, 04:54 PM
Well I got most of it right. It was David Niven but not Marius Goring. The movie was made in 1946 and was called a "Matter of Life And Death" in the UK and "Stairway to Heaven" in the US.

You can see a review here:

http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=111581

bolillo_loco
05-11-2005, 05:30 PM
because the people who raised me either fought in it or were teenagers while it went on, so I heard about it a lot when I was a kid. also during the late 60s and early 70s there were a lot of movies shown on tv and in the cinema based on WWII.

blairgowrie
05-11-2005, 05:33 PM
I stand myself corrected.It was Marius Goring afer all. Hard to believe I saw this movie when it first screened in 1946 and remember it vividly!

But I can't remember what I did yesterday.

Cippacometa
05-11-2005, 06:08 PM
Because:

1) It is one of the biggest events in mankind€s history, and it€s recent!
2) It is the bloodiest, most violent and most spread war of ever.
3) It saw a big part of the world going from the shadow of dictators to the light of democracy and freedom (sort of the Lord of the Rings!)
4) I€ve heard some first-person stories about it from family and friends who were there.
5) It determined an incredible technologic step ahead. A lot of machines, weapons, materials, etc, were developed and put into production during WWII, or just after as a by-product. They changed the life of people in peace and in war, and we are still using them or new versions of them.
6) It was the first fully-filmed war.
7) It shaped the world the way we are all living now.
8) When I was a kid I used to play WWII (plastic rifles and Airfix models), and now I'm still doing!! (Memoir 44 and IL-2).
9) We shall never forget to avoid doing another one!

Badsight.
05-11-2005, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Ketalar:
Why do so many hold an interest in WWII out of all the wars that have taken place/are taking place?. for me its because there is enough technology tomake it interesting , but not so much that its down to machienery , its still the person

that & the fact that WW2 nearly involved the whole world , its size & scale left many battles & theasters & operations of interest

bolillo_loco
05-11-2005, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by Badsight.:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ketalar:
Why do so many hold an interest in WWII out of all the wars that have taken place/are taking place?. for me its because there is enough technology tomake it interesting , but not so much that its down to machienery , its still the person

that & the fact that WW2 nearly involved the whole world , its size & scale left many battles & theasters & operations of interest </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

fair enough badsight, but when we play games online once again it boils down to the machine :O

LeadSpitter_
05-12-2005, 01:12 AM
I admire & respect the wwii generation most of all. All nations, axis and allied. They are the greatest people on this planet. They also are a fine example to the younger generations of how to live your life to the fullest. Appreciate life and prevent another world war.

It must be extremely difficult for the veterans to speak of the past horrors of war, and close friends lost, but I hope more veterans come forward and tell thier life stories so future generations will have them to remember. I know I will be interested in wwii history till im old and grey.

Shultze_87
05-12-2005, 08:36 AM
Generally I'm a fan of history and frankly for me,much of my fascination with WW2 came from my interest of the German military of that period. My first game when I was 7 years old was Wolf 3D,shooting German troops shouting "achtung!!" and from there my interest developed. I was just amazed by the coolness of their gray uniform,tactics,weaponry etc etc and most of my friends that know about WW2 also share the same interest like me (German military).

peashooter2005
05-12-2005, 10:23 PM
Yes, blairgowrie, I remember "Stairway to Heaven". I ran into it on late night tv about 25 years ago. Forgot the name but remember the american bomber crew as they arrived, marginally under control of the pilot, quickly spotting and accessing a coke machine. Wonder if this was a common view of US fliers from British eyes?