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  1. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    The Hitchens article is interesting, but it seems to rely on another common misconception regarding interwar Soviet-German relations. Simon Sebag Montefiore's excellent biography Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar makes it clear that the Soviet leadership was ready and willing to go to war with...
  2. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    The elderly author interviewed in this segment is often cited as the originator of the Sherman myth. However, there are several inaccurate assumptions. First, the cited ranges are misleading; realistically, given the limitations of 1940s optics, hitting another tank at 2,000 yards (1,828 meters...
  3. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    Another demonstrably false misconception: the M4 Sherman was inferior to its German counterparts, generally a bad design, and a death trap. This myth stems from anecdotal incidents where American, British or Commonwealth medium tank formations suffered disproportionate losses at the hands of an...
  4. Guttersnipe

    Why were the Germans so bad at espionage?

    From everything I've read, German intelligence suffered due to a highly decentralized structure that, when combined with inter-organizational rivalry and distrust, created gross inefficacy. The Abwehr was competent, but focused heavily on pure military intelligence at the expense of broader...
  5. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    This touches on one of the other classic misconceptions about WWII: that Italian military defeats were due to cowardice. The genesis of this myth is large number of Italian prisoners captured in North Africa. However, this was a result of circumstances, not a failure of martial spirit...
  6. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    Ha! De Gaulle was certainly a fly in the ointment for the Americans and British throughout the war, but there was a method to his madness. From the outside his actions often seemed like rampant egotism; however, de Gaulle's concern was always looking out for French interests, which was...
  7. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    A challenge with studying French military history is that much of it is not published in English. Off the top of my head, take a look at the Wikipedia page for the Battle of Bir Hakeim (namesake to a Metro station in Paris). For an especially interesting read, check out the often-overlooked Free...
  8. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    Context is key. Many of the politicians in Pétain's camp were ultra-right reactionaries; in the first place, they harbored an admiration of fascism for its anti-leftist ideology and were opposed France's entry into the war from the get go. From their perspective, they were just making the best...
  9. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    Free French and Vichy involvement in WWII after the fall of France is complex. Broadly speaking, the dynamics between the Vichy government, Free French movement, and maquis irregulars mirror the schizophrenic nature of French partisan politics during the 1930's. Contrary to Anglo-American...
  10. Guttersnipe

    WWII Myths and Misconceptions (That Need to Go Away)

    For me, one of this biggest misconceptions is the myth of the cowardly French soldier. This view is highly related to myth that the French General Staff's reliance on the Maginot Line was foolish and led to France's rapid defeat in 1940. In reality, the Maginot Line did exactly what it was...
  11. Guttersnipe

    Reproduction Suits & Jackets?

    Magnoli Clothiers' cloth selection could use work. He tends to use lighter weights that aren't particularity evocative of original vintage pieces.
  12. Guttersnipe

    MAURICE L. ROTHSCHILD/HART SHAFFNER & MARX STYLEBOOK 1925-26

    Two interesting details: flap pockets on a tuxedo and bottom button buttoned; both of which are modernly thought to be incorrect or a faux pax.
  13. Guttersnipe

    Why does Samuel Adams Boston Lager taste so much better than many other Lagers?

    I agree that some beers taste much better on tap than in bottles; and Sam Adams' Boston Lager definitely falls in that category. Interestingly, at least in my opinion, many American yellow fizzy water beers also fall within that category and become enjoyable, for what they are, on tap. But...
  14. Guttersnipe

    spade soles on modern shoes

    True. But firstly, those were, to a large extent, shoes for the everyman and there were higher-end brands that cost $20 to $30. Secondly, Americans were actually far less affluent then, as compared to today. For that reason, running numbers through a CPI inflation calculator is only half the...
  15. Guttersnipe

    spade soles on modern shoes

    It's the other way around; a tiny fraction of modern U.S. consumers are willing to pay for quality. Prices in old catalogs may seem low, but when adjusted for inflation they are not.
  16. Guttersnipe

    Oxford Bags

    When wearing white or cream, one quickly realizes how filthy the world is! I leaned this lesson wearing a white linen suit one rainy Halloween night in New Orleans . . .
  17. Guttersnipe

    Reproduction Suits & Jackets?

    In addition to SJC, take a look at Chester Cordite, also out of the UK.
  18. Guttersnipe

    Why does Samuel Adams Boston Lager taste so much better than many other Lagers?

    I cut my teeth on yellow fizzy water too, which probably explains my indifference to fancy-schmancy IPAs. During my salad days, Hams, Miller "High Life," Meister Brau, Pabst, Olympia or Blatz were always the go-to beers. But, Stroh's Bohemian is definitely a proper beer; their lager on the...
  19. Guttersnipe

    Why does Samuel Adams Boston Lager taste so much better than many other Lagers?

    If you're used to English pale ale or IPA, popular American IPAs might come as a shock because their hop content is typically off the charts. I don't know if they are sold in the UK, but Anchor Steam, a California common ale (aka, "steam beer"), and Yuengling Traditional Lager are both good...
  20. Guttersnipe

    Why does Samuel Adams Boston Lager taste so much better than many other Lagers?

    People always tout the emergence of crafts breweries in the U.S. as proof that our beer isn't s**t, but the numbers don't lie. Craft beers only account for 10 - 12% of beer sales in the U.S. Statistically speaking, we like yellow fizzy water.
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