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TOXIC MASCULINITY

By Pete Moore On June 5th, 2019

Seventy five years ago tonight, hundreds of thousands of young men across southern England were readying themselves for war and possible death. In the dawn our forebears – our grandfathers and great grandfathers – faced a storm of bullets and mortars on the beaches of Normandy. Thousands never made it home. But they won the day because they had to. Failure to gain the beaches and a foothold in Normandy would have been a catastrophe. From there they were to liberate the peoples of the European countries from the National Socialists and their evil designs for one, centralised Europe.

33 Responses to “TOXIC MASCULINITY”

  1. “TOXIC MASCULINITY”

    The reason those men needed to take the risks they did was because of the actions of other men.

    So the lesson is we need big bad masculine men ready to do violence because there are other big bad masculine men ready to do violence

  2. Here’s real toxic masculinity Pete:

    https://www.thelocal.es/20180312/violence-against-women-in-spain-highest-ever-in-2017

  3. An Irish friend of mine is in Normandy this week for the commemorations.

  4. After the carnage of white-on-white slaughter, every ‘liberated’ country faces the demographic destruction of its native people under a wave of 3rd-world shit. What a disaster D-day has turned out to be.

  5. Whatever your views 75 years after the event, these brave YOUNG MEN gave all their tomorrow’s for ours today. I cannot be humble enough.

  6. Unlike present generations, those men were dauntless in their commitment to Europe and democracy and readily recognised their duty to think European.

    After all, just one year earlier, their leader, Churchill himself, had called for the creation of the Council of Europe. When victory had been secured, that dream was put into effect with the Treaty of London, on which basis mainly British lawyers set about setting up the European Court of Human Rights.

    BTW, great speech by Prime Minister Theresa May today, without bombast or pathos, simple and honest.

  7. Absolutely correct Noel.

    D Day is a magnificent example of what a unified Europe working in tandem with a mutual strong North American partnership can acheive.

  8. The Man Who Told America the Truth about D Day

    About journalist Ernie Pyle, much loved by the troops and by Americans.

    Pyle honed a sincere and colloquial style of writing that made readers feel as if they were listening to a good friend share an insight or something he noticed that day. When the United States entered World War II, Pyle took that same technique — familiar, open, attuned to the daily struggles of ordinary people — and applied it to covering battles and bombings. Venturing overseas with American forces in 1942, Pyle reported the war through the eyes of the regular infantrymen on the front lines. He wrote about the food, the weather and the despair of living in slit trenches during the rainy late winter of 1943. He asked the soldiers their names and their hometown addresses, which he routinely included in his articles. Soon millions of readers were following Pyle’s daily column in about 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers across the United States. In May 1944, Pyle was notified that he had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his dispatches.

    Pyle’s first column about the D-Day landings, published on June 12, 1944, gave his readers an honest accounting of how daunting the invasion had been — and what a miracle it was that the Allies had taken the beaches at all. “The advantages were all theirs,” Pyle said of the German defenders: concrete gun emplacements and hidden machine-gun nests “with crossfire taking in every inch of the beach,” immense V-shaped ditches, buried mines, barbed wire, “whole fields of evil devices under the water to catch our boats” and “four men on shore for every three men we had approaching the shore.” “And yet,” Pyle concluded, “we got on.”

    Pyle’s intent with this first column seems to have been simple: to elicit appreciation for the huge achievement and gratitude for “those both dead and alive” who had clawed their way up the beaches and taken down the enemy.

  9. D Day veteran on Brexit.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/d-day-veteran-normandy-landings-75-anniversary-brexit-worries-me/

  10. You’d wonder if the odd war was needed from time to time just to cull the likes of this ‘toxic masculinity’.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/06/05/england-fans-clash-portuguese-police-fas-fears-trouble-ahead/

  11. Right, smcgiff, I was just about to link to that other example of British toxic masculinity fighting on the shores of the European continent.
    Apparently, the hooligans also made clear their opinion on Brexit while they were fighting Portuguese police.

    //“The advantages were all theirs,” Pyle said of the German defenders: concrete gun emplacements and hidden machine-gun nests “with crossfire taking in every inch of the beach,” immense V-shaped ditches, buried mines, barbed wire, “whole fields of evil devices under the water to catch our boats” and “four men on shore for every three men we had approaching the shore.” “And yet,” Pyle concluded, “we got on.” //

    He isn’t really telling it like it was, Phantom.

    Far from “The advantages were all theirs”, the Allies outnumbered the Germans in terms of fighting soliders by 3 to 1, and if you include artillery and support personnel then by 7 to 1. In terms of aircraft, the advantage was even more on the side of the Allies, outnumbering the Luftwaffe by 12 to 1.

    Another advantage the Allies had was that they could put their best men into the fight, even bringing experienced men from Italy to be part of the invasion. The Germans on the other hand were relatively poorly trained and inexperienced compared to the average, with almost all their best troops fighting the Red Army in the east. In fact, very many of the “German” forces that day were Russians, Mongolians and men from the other occupied countries, who were forced into or volunteered for the Wehrmacht; they were also underequipped.

    The Allies had the benefit of the initiative and better intelligence, as well as operators on the ground working behind the German lines. The German advantages were obviously the topography, which was very much on the side of defence, and that they had ample time to prepare for an invasion, albeit along the entire coastline from Norway to Spain.

  12. Noel

    Noted.

    His importance was in his writing of the experience of the ordinary fighting man, without sugar coating it, in a way that had not been done before.

  13. // the experience of the ordinary fighting man//

    Yes.
    One thing I’ve often wondered about is the mental resilience and balance of these men, and how they seemingly adapted back to civilian life quite well despite the absolute horrors they’d gone through. Back then, they also didn’t have anything like the back-up services available today. Knowing they fought on the side of such a good cause no doubt helped, but that generation must also have had certain resources that our generation lacks.

    I’m not at all disparaging more recent veterans of conflict, but I don’t think there was any significant share of GI’s returning from Europe or Asia that fell into drug addiction or mass murder or suicide etc.

    One thing I’ve noticed from the reports about (British) vets was that almost none of them seems to have discussed their experienced with their families afterwards, but just got on with their lives, and today they don’t talk about any glory or celebration of a victory, but simply about the horror of the day and the need to commemorate the young friends they saw dying in front of them.

  14. There have been recent articles on how Israeli soldiers suffer much less from post traumatic stress than soldiers from other nations

    https://israelforever.org/interact/blog/why_israels_idf_soldier_suffer_from_ptsd_less_than_american_counterparts/

    A couple of decades ago, I worked at a place where one of the execs was a D Day veteran. He kept to his short army hair style, stood very straight, very organized and proper, soft spoken and nice to people. And never once would he talk about about what happened in those days.

  15. I don’t think there was any significant share of GI’s returning from Europe or Asia that fell into drug addiction or mass murder or suicide etc.

    It may well be the case Noel however I often wonder if, like cancer deaths for example, we’re just now more aware of it because of the developments in communication?

  16. I think that we’d have known about that, especially about drug addiction which of course is not a new thing in the world.

    I’d have no problem in saying that those who grew up in the depression would have been tougher than those who came after that era. And very many would have believed in the cause of fighting the pure evil of axis Germany and Japan, where the morality of fighting in Vietnam for example would have been much less clear at best.

  17. “I’m not at all disparaging more recent veterans of conflict, but I don’t think there was any significant share of GI’s returning from Europe or Asia that fell into drug addiction or mass murder or suicide etc.”

    But how many quietly suffered for decades, getting less sleep that they should have, internally at odds and in tremendous emotional and psychological pain? Murder, addiction and suicide aren’t the only hallmarks of PTSD. And even if they weren’t talked about there are hints that the post WWII veterans had a drink problem and had a suicide problem.

    Of the 8 million US soldiers who saw combat (and I’m only using America as that is the only one I can find the details for) 1 in 8 of them were discharged for combat related stress or battle fatigue or some other psychological condition.

    And while people didn’t talk about it then there is evidence in some literature for a serious alcohol problem in many American GIs. Just back then a drinking problem wasn’t a problem. Divorced doubled immediately after the war, from 2.2 per 1,000 in 1941 to 4.3 per 1,000 people in 1946. Too many men came home and couldn’t live their lives with their wives anymore.

    A study found that while there wasn’t a spike in suicides, especially in comparison to the likes of Vietnam, a World War II veteran was 4 times more likely to commit suicide than a person of a similar age who had not served in the military.

  18. But how many quietly suffered for decades, getting less sleep that they should have, internally at odds and in tremendous emotional and psychological pain?

    My maternal grandfather was in the Royal Navy during WWII and never heard of any incidents but I have a friend who was born in the late fifties whose father had served as an infantry soldier in Europe during WWII and she told me he never, ever spoke about it but most nights from childhood until she moved out of her parents’ home they’d be woken by him crying and screaming.

  19. Very interesting observations, Phantom, Seamus and Paul. I also remember meeting WW2 vets in the first job I worked at as a teenager, guys who’d been on the Burma Road and in North Africa with Monty. “The skin of civilisation is very thin”, I remember one of them saying.

    The difference between then and now is probably a combination of the toughness and easy sense of identity that that generation had, then fighting for a good cause that was appreciated as necessary by society afterwards and then the socially acceptable alcohol as a refuge that Seamus mentions.

    It all reminds me of this brilliant poem by Roger McGough

    SNIPERS

    When I was kneehigh to a tabletop,
    Uncle Tom came home from Burma.
    He was the youngest of seven brothers
    So the street borrowed extra bunting
    and whitewashed him a welcome.

    All the relations made the pilgrimage,
    including us, laughed, sang, made a fuss.
    He was brown as a chairleg,
    Drank tea out of a white mug the size of my head,
    and said next to nowt.

    But every few minutes he would scan
    the ceiling nervously, hands begin to shake,
    ‘For snipers,’ everyone later agreed,
    ‘A difficult habit to break.’

    Sometimes when the two of us were alone,
    he’d have a snooze after dinner
    and I’d keep an eye open for Japs.
    Of course, he didn’t know this
    and the tenner he’d give me before I went
    was for keeping quiet,
    but I liked to think it was money well spent.

    Later, I learned that he was in a mental home.
    “Needn’t tell anybody… Nothing serious
    …Delayed shock… Usual sort of thing
    …Completely cured now, the doctors say”
    The snipers came down from the ceiling,
    but they didn’t go away.

    Over the next five years they picked off
    three of his brothers; one of whom was my father.
    No glory, no citations,
    Bang! straight through the heart.

    Uncle Tom’s married now, with a family.
    He doesn’t say much, but each night after tea,
    He still dozes fitfully in his favourite armchair.
    He keeps out of the sun, and listens now and then
    for the tramp tramp of the Colonel Bogeymen.
    He knows damn well he’s still at war,
    Just that the sniper’s aren’t Japs anymore.

  20. Talking to some friends, both of whose dads served in the war

    The first was in the second day landings at Normandy after serving in North Africa. Leg injury due to shrapnel

    The second one’s father was sent to China, at wars end, went on riverboat patrols in China

    Both lived to a ripe old age.

  21. Many undoubtedly did suffer. A woman has just called into LBC to say that her father was part of the first wave and suffered nightmares about that morning for years.

    Society was more stoic then. People just got on with life. It was regarded as dignified that way. Now everyone is encouraged to let it all hang out. Some benefit from that approach now, but I’m not sure of the benefits overall.

    Plus big pharma wasn’t telling everyone that they were ill but would be better with pills.

  22. There’s a case to be made for compartmentalization.

  23. Probably being in the thick of the fighting was also a way of releasing stress. Compare that to this man who was manning one of the boats bringing the troops to the beach. The boat dropped them in deep water and he watched them drown under the weight of their own equipment. He later ferried many men, many horribly injured, from the beaches back to the ship.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48185757

  24. One of the men in one of the boats?

    A 19 year old Yogi Berra, who went on to become the great NY Yankees catcher and personality.

    http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/berra-takes-part-in-dday/

  25. Could you imagine being the silly German who threw a grenade at him, only for him to effortless catch it and chuck it back at force?

  26. He actually was shot when on land in France

    2. Seaman 1st Class Lawrence Peter Berra, USN, wasn’t just a great servant of the game. He was a decorated veteran, one of 156,000 men in the Allied landing force in Normandy on June 6, 1944, for D-Day. Berra was a gunner’s mate on the USS Bayfield, an attack transport ship. Just turned 19, he was part of the fighting for 15 consecutive days. Two months later, in Operation Dragoon, Berra got shot during an Allied assault on Marseilles, for which he earned a Purple Heart.

    NY Post

    Very interesting life he had.

  27. A real fascinating man, if you ignore the Yankees bit. Some of the Yogiisms are fantastic. I’d say most people have probably heard a Yogiism or two even if they didn’t know who Yogi Berra was.

  28. He didn’t seem smart, but he was smart enough not to piss away his money like many athletes do, nor did he get into fights in bars, as some of his teammates did.

    He didn’t look like an athlete, but he was a very good offensive and defensive player on baseball’s best team.

    He’d be the underestimated guy who was always ” lucky ” to be on very good teams year after year.

  29. “He’d be the underestimated guy who was always ” lucky ” to be on very good teams year after year.”

    You could say that just by looking at his 10 World Series wins. Most guys, even better players than Yogi Berra (not that many have been better), won’t get near 10 World Series because the guys around them won’t be good enough.

    But he won 3 MVP awards. That’s the most by a guy who never took steroids. Only Barry Bonds has more and the less said about him the better. And Berra won 3 MVP awards when he was competing against the likes of Mickey Mantle. How many would Berra had won if Mantle didn’t play at the same time (probably more MVPs and less World Series). He also had 18 All-Star games. He was a fantastic player who got lucky in that many of his teammates were also fantastic players. Because there were plenty of other fantastic players over the years who didn’t have fantastic teammates.

    One stat that really stands out. Berra appeared as a player, coach or manager in every one of the 13 World Series that New York baseball teams won from 1947 to 1981.

  30. Yes.

    He was a Yankees great but was also deeply associated with the NY Mets for a decade as coach or manager. Played with Dimaggio, managed Tom Seaver and Ricky Henderson.

    He even played for the Mets, as a publicity stunt, in 1965. He wasn’t the real Berra anymore. Got two hits in four games.

    He founded a kid friendly museum, which still exists

    https://yogiberramuseum.org/

  31. Cripes, talk about the tough generation: two D-Day vets from Britain today got flown from England to Normandy where they dropped in by parachute – one 94 and the other 95 years of age!

    //two months later, in Operation Dragoon, Berra got shot during an Allied assault on Marseilles,//

    Interesting. He must be one of the very few who took part in both Operation Overlord (invasion of the northern French coast) and Operation Dragoon (invasion of southern France shortly afterwards).

    The two missions were otherwise kept very separate. The southern coast of Axis Europe was wrongly called the “soft underbelly of the beast”, and the men in Operation Dragoon referred to (by some society lady or royal, I think) as “the D-Day Dodgers”, which they greatly resented.

  32. The southern coast of Axis Europe was wrongly called the “soft underbelly of the beast”, and the men in Operation Dragoon referred to (by some society lady or royal, I think) as “the D-Day Dodgers”, which they greatly resented.

    Yep:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4hny_XRaw4

  33. Interesting article:

    http://time.com/5303229/women-after-d-day/

    More toxic masculinity?