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Old 16 June 2005, 07:11 AM   #1
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Why is there so little documentation of 1919-20 Conflicts ???

The thread on von Boenigk's post war claims made me think, why is there so very little documentation of the various conflicts in 1919-1920. Pilots like Jacobs, Osterkamp, and Sachsenberg all fought, Buchner, Nather and von Boddien were lost. Thought several top Allied pilots were involved as well. Any thoughts ???
Old 16 June 2005, 01:36 PM   #2
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One factor in the lack of documentation was the worldwide anti-war sentiment following the Armistice. Having survived the horrors of WW1, many people wanted desperately to believe that this was truly 'the war to end all wars'. If this were not so, what had it all been for?

Evidence of this widespread mindset is the rapid demobilization of nearly all military forces, the slashing of military budgets to prewar levels, and the dissolution of military lines of communication. It was akin to political suicide for national leaders to beat the drum for any continuation of the conflict. As a consequence, military actions in the 1919-1920 period were carried out in a semi-covert manner, where the less that was said about such things, the better. This environment was not conducive to thorough documentation of anything military.

Much of the documentation that does survive is in the form of reminiscences by participants in the military engagements of 1919-20, often described many years after the events took place. How accurate these memories may be is difficult to assess.

One source that I found interesting was the description of British activities in support of the White Russians in Raymond Collishaw's book Air Command . Collishaw makes it clear that this little-publicized adventure was every bit as harrowing as the days over the Western front.
"A surprise attack is much more demoralising than any other form, and generally results in the person attacked diving or pulling the machine into such a position that it forms a most satisfactory target for the few seconds necessary to deliver a decisive blow. " - R. S. Dallas
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