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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ninety two years after the guns stopped, World War One will officially end this Sunday as Germany satisfies the last outstanding portion of the war debt that was imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/germany-pays-off-wwi-debt-20101001-16112.html

In honor of this event, let me recommend two books about The Great War

Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War 1 (Stephen O'Shea): An excellent book - essentially a series of pieces about the horrific cost of WWI. The author walked the entire Western Front during the summers from 1986 to 1995. Extremely well written.

Unknown Soldiers: The Story of the Missing of the First World War (Neil Hanson): the story of three soldiers (American, British, and German) who died within several miles of each other, and whose bodies were never recovered. The book evolves into an interesting discussion of the decision in France, England and the United States to select and honor a single unknown soldier to act as a surrogate for all of those who went missing. The politics of it are fascinating.

Bonus Recommendation: Storm of Steel (Ernst Junger): a German viewpoint on the war from a front line soldier. The Penguin translation from the original German is excellent. Junger lived to be over 100 years old, and made his name after the war as a novelist. As a counterpoint to the other two books that I have listed, Junger claims to have rather enjoyed the experience of battle. His conservative views and depiction of his experiences in the war made him an "approved" Nazi writer in the 1930s. Junger's "adoption" by the Nazis (he didn't approve of them, but didn't fight them either) caused him to be banned publishing by the British who controlled his particular portion of Germany after WWII.
 

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The USA (and a few other countries) got the better part of the deal. We gave up our rights for reparations, in a trade with Bayer. We can use the Trademarked name "asprin" , for any asprin type product. I believe that Canada made the same deal.
What I understand, in the UK, you can't call asprin "Asprin", unless it is Bayer asprin.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
The USA (and a few other countries) got the better part of the deal. We gave up our rights for reparations, in a trade with Bayer. We can use the Trademarked name "asprin" , for any asprin type product. I believe that Canada made the same deal.
What I understand, in the UK, you can't call asprin "Asprin", unless it is Bayer asprin.
Wow! We made out. Plus we got to bomb them again 24 years later.
 

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Interesting. I never realized that the reuinification 20th anniversary will be tomorrow.

Thanks for that bit of trivia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MR_GRUMPY said:
The USA (and a few other countries) got the better part of the deal. We gave up our rights for reparations, in a trade with Bayer. We can use the Trademarked name "asprin" , for any asprin type product. I believe that Canada made the same deal.
What I understand, in the UK, you can't call asprin "Asprin", unless it is Bayer asprin.
More Strange WWI Finance:

A German armaments firm, Krupp, held the patent to a certain type of shell fuse. The design was licensed by the British firm of Vickers prior to WWI. The war starts, and Vickers suspends the royalty payments. After the war, the British payments resume, and a back-payment was made to Krupp (covering the war years) in 1926.

In other words, the British paid royalties to the Germans to give them the legal right to use the weapons that they were using to kill German soldiers. And they were paying that money to a firm to cover a period of time that the German firm was building weapons to kill British Tommies.

War may be hell, but a Deal is a Deal.
 
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