The Great War: An Update


Germany is less than a year away from paying off the remainder of its World War I reparations. At that point, if I remember my Dante correctly, the Kaiser gets to enter Paradise.

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  1. Isn’t Finland the only country to have paid off its WWII debt to the United States?

    Russia sure as hell didn’t.

    1. Finland was never at war with the United States, even during World War II.

      1. They were allied with the Nazis against the USSR. Didn’t that make Finland de facto at war with the US? Obviously BakedPenguin is confused, I think he thinks Finland was on the allied side.

        1. Finland wasn’t on the allied side (and was indeed a co-belligerent with the Axis), but Kim Scarborough is right in saying that it wasn’t at war with the U.S.

          The U.S. only declared war on those countries that attacked or declared war on us. Thus, in 1942 we declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. (I’d be surprised to learn that we ever engaged any of those countries’ armed forces in combat, though.) Finland was only interested in fighting the Soviet Union, so it never declared war on us.

          (It’s a little ironic that FDR, who is usually portrayed as giving in unnecessarily to Stalin, didn’t join him in warring against Finland, while Churchill, usually portrayed as a “realistic” anti-Communist and sceptic about Stalin’s intentions, got the UK to declare war on Finland, a country that posed it no threat and that Britain had actually cheered on during the Winter War.)

  2. Hermes: We can’t compete with Mom! Her company is big and evil! Ours is small and neutral!

    That Guy: Switzerland is small and neutral! We’re more like Germany, ambitious and misunderstood!

    Amy: Look, everyone wants to be like Germany, but do we really have the pure strength of will?

  3. 84 million? That’s it? Not much to cough up, even for one of those Dark Age shitholes over there. It’s about nine bucks in Versaille-era dollars. What’s the fuckin’ holdup, Klink?

  4. Finland paid off its debt to the United States from WWI, not WWII.

  5. America is deeply in debt to Finland for Children of Bodom. True story.

    1. Not to mention Finntroll, amirite?

    2. You have way too much of a hard-on for the Scandinavians, esteemed colleague Warty. Way too much. Would you like some lutefisk? With your aquavit?

      1. It’s not my fault that the official band of libertarianism comes from the great white north.

        1. The Great White North is Canada, esteemed colleague Moron.

          1. No, that’s the shitty white north. Do they say bork bork bork? No? Then it’s not fucking great.

            1. Get your terms straight. BORK BORK BORK

      2. I save my aquavit to go with my surstr?mmingskl?mma.

        These bacteria produce carbon dioxide and a number of compounds that account for the unique odor: pungent (propionic acid), rotten-egg (hydrogen sulfide), rancid-butter (butyric acid), and vinegary (acetic acid).

        1. My Mediterranean blood makes me astonished by the crap the Scandinavians eat. I mean, really: jamon, or lutefisk? Does that question even need to be asked?

          1. We can’t all eat lark’s tongues in garum served on a slave’s cock, you Latinate pervert.

            1. Lark’s tongue is for slaves, Philistine. You disappoint me.

          2. Traditional food is often borne of desperation — “Damn, either we eat this rotten herring or we die of starvation a month away from spring. OK, let’s call it a fucking delicacy and see if the kids buy it.”

            I mean, people of Mediterranean ancestry don’t eat weird shit? Calamari? Goat stew? (OK, those are delicious done right, but you get my drift …)

            1. Are you implying that eating squid is weird? Racist. I like escargot too.

              1. Maggot cheese (casu marzu), for an example of disgusting traditional foods swarthy Mediterrean types have been known to eat.

            2. In norther areas where there is no food for half of the year, people had to come up with creative ways to preserve things. In days before cheap salt and refrigeration, that usually means some pretty nasty shit.

              1. What do you mean before refrigeration. The whole damn country is nothing but one big refrigerator for half the year.

    3. Good God! Where do you come up with this obscure metal shit? You amaze me. Are you a metallurgical engineer? That might well explain it.

        1. I’m a little disappointed you didn’t mention H.I.M., Warty.

      1. Metallurgial engineer, that’s the funniest shit I’ve heard us called in a long time. While BORKBORKland does have its great metal, I also prefer some cheese with my metal: Elvenking, Rhapsody of Fire, and Graveworm do just nicely and are from Epi’s neck of the woods.

    4. Hell yea, saw them three times. Strangly they come to Dallas every year.

  6. Wait, so I thought the motivation, or at least part of the motivation, for the German hyperinflation of the 1920s was to be able to pay off the war debts, which had been specified in marks. Am I totally on crack, or was there something to this?

    And who is Germany paying the debts to, anyhow? Us? France?

    1. Britain, the US and france. A couple others but I don’t know which. Wikipedia has a good rundown of the story…..eparations

    2. The reparations were to be paid specifically in gold. Since that took up all of the republic’s gold supplies, they took to printing fiat currency to pay their other bills, which resulted in hyperinflation.

  7. In World War II, Finland sided with the Nazis against the invading commies. The U.S. chose the exact opposite, to side with the other set of dictators. War makes strange bedfellows.

    1. Considering what the asshats who won the war have done with it in the last 60 years, you can’t help but wonder if the Finns made the smarter choice.

  8. Sample some traditional Icelandic fare sometime. Freaking Klingon food– putrefied shark, potato schnapps, lichen, ram testicles (made into sweet cookies, no less), sheep’s head stew (stewed in the skull), blood sausage, and no organ goes to waste. Humans must have the most adaptable diet of any species.

    Now, they’re a smart and cosmopolitan people (financial savvy notwithstanding), and they do a quite a fine job when they have actual food to work with. Actual food not derived from sheep or fish is a fairly recent introduction to that frigid island.

  9. The UK finally paid off it’s debt to the US a couple of years back:…..t_payments

    1. That story was about Britain’s World War II debt. I think they still owe us for World War I, though.

  10. Is there a “Godwin”-equivalent term for bringing up the Kaiser?

  11. Haven’t the Germans suffered enough?

    And no I’m not kidding. Spain, England, Russia and France have been responsible for a lot more destruction and deaths of innocents over the past 5 centuries than Germany. Only Germany has had to give up territory and flagellate herself in public over and over.

    If Europe was high school England would be the smart class president type who cheats on tests, makes his girlfriend get an abortion, and undermines his best friend to leapfrog over him in the college admission’s race, but never gets caught. All the adults love him. Russia would be the arrogant school bully who when dragged to the principal’s office says “yeah, I beat Poland up. Know what? I’d do it again!” and all the girls secretly like him. Germany is the kid who gets good grades, teacher’s pet, behaves himself most of the time but tries to be cool junior year, gets drunk and kills 3 popular kids in a drunk driving accident. Now sucking up to the teachers to be forgiven.

    1. Past 5 centuries? Way to set the goal posts. Besides, I am not even sure you are right. Something like 60 million people died because of WWII. When did the English or French kill 60 million people? Napoleonic Wars deaths are under 10 mill, Atlantic slave trade deaths are under 20 mill. I’d be curious to see some documentation.

    2. That’s because the Germans got their nasty shit recorded on film. Most of the others you mention were pre-visual media or were successfully covered up. Plus there’s the whole victors get to write the history thing.

    3. The Germans have only been united the last 150 years of that 500. They’ve been doing their best to catch up.

  12. Na ja, es wuerde gerade Zeit. Wenigstens zahlen wir ja.

  13. Na ja, es wuerde gerade Zeit. Wenigstens zaheln wir ja.

  14. Na ja, es wuerde gerade Zeit. Wenigstens zahlen wir ja.

    1. How the hell did that get past the English Only censor? Not complaining. Just wanna know how stupid the “Update” really was.

      1. seriously, when i type in english it tells me it’s not english. who did you blow?

  15. Are the three popular kids in no particular order, Jews, the French, and the Dutch? Are we (the US) the junior high kids who had morals until we got to high school?

    1. Sure, why not. The US, at least in the 20th century, is the Principal of the school.

      1. I assume the school is built on an Indian burial ground.

  16. Only two sentences, but that might be the funniest post I’ve ever read at Reason.

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