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mad-magyar:

mad-magyar:

Yeah yeah shit on military history all you want but if you come up to me and say you love history and then willingly admit you meant “art history” then you are officially very boring

Out of all the cool things that happened in the 1930s, if this is your highlight then you’re not allowed to even think you can speak down to me

I’m sorry dude, but this is flat out stupid.

Military history is a factor of history, yes, but it cannot explain anything on its own to anyone but a General Staff. In order to understand the 1930’s and the 1940’s, you can’t just look at it from the lens of military history- to do so is historiographically irresponsible and blatantly silly. In order to understand that period in any way, you need to understand it from a social, oral, political, cultural, diplomatic, intellectual, economic, literary, filmic, and yes, artistic lens. Military history is important, yes, since how wars are fought and won is important to understanding them.

But being able to name a suite of German field commanders is worthless if you can’t tell me who Gustav Stresemann was. Being able to name every Soviet model of tank is entirely less important than being able to talk to me competently about Kazimir Malevich and Constructivism as indicative of Soviet Utopianism in the Lenin-era, along with how the shift in art demonstrated a shift in that Utopianism under Stalin and Socialist Realism.

And that’s another thing- you’re showing off a pencil sketch here as if it’s dismissive of modernist art, but all that’s doing is displaying how limited the viewpoint of the average fan of military history is. Italian Futurism is vital to understanding Italian culture under Mussolini, which itself had far more to do with the Italian Fascist loss in the war than any number of statistics about Carcano rifles can. The same is true of any number of artistic movements- what are Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky if not proof at the deterioration of the Soviet system? Even if you’re not studying art history from an artistic perspective, it’s vital to understanding history.

Like, it’s not just a matter of taste, although it is that. It’s being able to understand history from a variety of lenses, rather than just pretending historiography didn’t advance beyond von Moltke declaring the peace is the blank pages in history books.