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prr
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 2007
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/24/2022 10:27:22 AM
I've come across a couple of quotes, such as Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard, that “no people ever warred for independence with more relative advantages than the Confederacy; and if they must have failed, then no country must aim at freedom by means of war.” The Times of London made a similar remark at the outset of the war: "No war of independence ever terminated unsuccessfully except where the disparity of force was far greater than it is in this case. Just as England during the [American] revolution had to give up conquering the colonies, so the North will have to give up conquering the South."

OK, I know of a few wars of independence that succeeded before the 1860s, such as that of the Dutch from Spain in the late 1500s & early 1600s; the Latin American revolutions in the 1810s & 1820s; and that of Haiti, in addition to 1776 and all that. Perhaps we can throw Napoleon's invasion of Russia into this pile as well, unless this was more a failed invasion than a war of independence.

But what wars of independence were people thinking of, that had failed? Were there Irish & Scottish rebellions? Italian civil wars against the French or Austrians?

I'd basically like to compare the size of the armies in these failed wars of independence to see what the relative odds were.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4278
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/24/2022 7:42:44 PM
Interesting idea. Thanks for raising it.

I know relatively little about the ACW and or the Revolutionary War, so forgive me if I step on some toes or commit some gaffes. I want to comment because I have interest in other civil and revolutionary wars, and your points make me reconsider my thoughts.

I would argue, e.g., that a civil war is typically internecine, fought between members of a single community or nation, even if surrogates might add support to either side. Some civil wars are wars of separation, which seems to be General Beauregard’s interpretation, though he uses the word “liberation” with a propagandist’s skill, IMHO. The war in Eritrea is such a war; so, I assume, was the war between the states: :’We’ll take our land and our values and create a new nation” kind of thing. I would think this is the kind of issue Canada will face, should any of its separatist movements gain political clout through successful referenda. The issue then becomes an issue when such separatists are denied the right to separate, and civil disruption results.

Other civil wars deal with the desire to impose values upon an entire political entity, despite strong opposition to those values. There is no room for separation; this is the imposition of a (perhaps) minority value set on a national or cultural scale. The key is that there is typically no desire to separate people, but rather to force them to unite. The English Civil War is one such; the Spanish Civil War is another. So, I suspect, is the Russian Revolution. So, for that matter, might be the Putin version of the current Ukrainian nastiness.

In opposition to that rather broad definition of civil war, wars of independence are largely efforts by an identifiable group to gain independence from essentially foreign control, and to establish rule based on “national” values. I would say that American patriots saw themselves conducting just such a war during the Revolutionary War. I find it interesting that Beauregard’s comment applies much more to wars of independence, but this might explain why the issues of the ACW have never been resolved, or the imposed values ever accepted.

From my perspective, therefore, I wonder why you want to follow an unrepentant losing general’s comments (which may – note, just may – be both incendiary and propagandist) about wars of independence, and apply them to other wars which are typically not seen as civil wars.

Not an attack, prr. I just think what you have set yourself out to do might prove impossible under the terms you’re setting yourself. I hate playing devil’s advocate. But I will admit I hold strong views on differences between civil and liberation wars. I look forward to following any argument you choose to share with MHO.

Cheers,
Brian G

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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
prr
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 2007
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/24/2022 8:27:03 PM
I'm not sure what the fact that his side lost has to do with it. As I indicated, the London Times had a very similar line.

If you are going to draw a hard and fast line between civil wars and wars of independence, fine. But the question is still an interesting one--to me at least--which wars (of either kind) have failed?
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4278
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/24/2022 9:15:50 PM
prr, I’m winging it here. Let’s discuss!

You ask: “I'm not sure what the fact that his side lost has to do with it. As i indicated, the London Times had a very similar line.” Well, the Times has an interesting reputation. On the one hand, it has a long reputation of being the organ of the British government (or, perhaps more accurately, British culture). Though that might reflect the values of Parliament, it shouldn’t be used as validation or truth.

As to Gen Beauregard’s comments, I may be wrong, or perhaps unkind in my assessment of his comment. But it seems to me that a CSA General would define the ugliness of the ACW in different terms than a Union General. Offer me a related Union General’s quote, and I’ll offer an assessment of it’s value and/or propaganda rating. My bet would be that a Union General would not choose to talk about Southern “liberation” Gen Beauregard was committed to a losing cause. His comment uses terms that – at least in my reading – continues to present a rejected value system as an offence against liberty.

I’m not trying to draw a hard line between civil and independent wars. I will admit I’m trying to determine differences between them. Put another way, I’m hunting for distinctions between the two. And I’m with you in your interest.

My interests draw me to the following:
• War of the Roses (sometimes called the War of the Princes);
• English Civil War
• Spanish Civil War

I’d be happy to chat further with you. And I’ll admit I might introduce other European batles/wars.

To be honest, I didn’t think I was drawing any lines. I was, I thought, trying to explain my stance on your subject.

Cheers
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
prr
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 2007
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/24/2022 9:38:34 PM
I don't believe I'm using the London Times as a criterion of truth--I'm just trying to figure out if there was any historical basis for their argument about the likelihood of CSA victory based on the relative strength of forces of each side. I doubt that Grant or Sherman would have seen the Army of Northern Virginia as a group of freedom fighters, or if they would have described this as a war for southern liberation. Again, my question was more about trying to find out if previous independence attempts that failed, had fewer relative resources than the CSA did.
kaii
Oslo  Norway
Posts: 3051
Joined: 2010
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/27/2022 5:44:58 PM
The Norwegian war of independence in 1814 failed, sort of, in that Norway did not gain full independence until almost 100 years later (1905). The war itself could be argued to be a stalemate, and the political solution that the war ended based upon was somewhere between Norway being a province of Sweden and full independence - basically a twin monarchy with two aeparate countries with different constitutions but with the same king,

For comparison, the Swedish forces that took part in the war counted some 45,000 troops, of which about half were experienced troops (line infantry, hussars etc) that had fought Napoleon on the European continent. The Norwegians fielded some 30 000 troops, many of which were militia and jaeger/light infantry.

Not sure that was what you were looking for, but there it is anyway.

K
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"They tried to bury us - but did not realise that we are seeds." -Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2221
Joined: 2020
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/27/2022 7:39:05 PM
As a Stupid American I have to ask what differentiates a Norwegian from a Swede and those from a Fin, and with the Viking lore are there still connections to the Danes? Dumb question I know. Huge question and sloppy to ask.


vpatrick



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nuts
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 12249
Joined: 2009
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/31/2022 8:02:23 AM
Hello Vin,

It's not a stupid question. You're just seeking knowledge.

You won't get a lot of it from me but my high school geography teacher is talking to me somewhere in the recesses of my skull and he told us that the Scandinavian peninsula only includes two countries, Norway and Sweden and a bit of northern Finland.

I have read that because of language similarities, Denmark should be considered a Scandinavian country if not actually on the peninsula.

The origin of the Finnish language is not shared with the other Scandinavian countries and is more closely related to the Baltic states, especially Estonia. However, Swedish is also spoken in Finland.

The Norse people and their language influenced the development of many other modern states. They travelled well and left genetic markers.

But this article below indicates that the influence of the Norse on the northern and eastern parts of Finland is not significant. It is more so in the south.

[Read More]

Hopefully, someone with real knowledge can weigh in to tell us a bit about the different cultures in that part of the world. Politically, of course we know that these are independent states with different types of governance.

I can add that Finland has one of the top educational systems in the world according to the ratings by the OECD using PISA scores which measure literacy, numeracy and science knowledge. And they have one of the top hockey programmes in the world.

Cheers,

George

vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2221
Joined: 2020
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
5/31/2022 7:53:23 PM
thanks George

Was the information I was looking for

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nuts
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5539
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/1/2022 3:00:53 AM
The Irish Rebellion of 1798 is worthy of citation here.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4278
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/1/2022 8:33:02 PM
George, you say: Quote:
You won't get a lot of it from me but my high school geography teacher is talking to me somewhere in the recesses of my skull and he told us that the Scandinavian peninsula only includes two countries, Norway and Sweden and a bit of northern Finland.

I have read that because of language similarities, Denmark should be considered a Scandinavian country if not actually on the peninsula.

The origin of the Finnish language is not shared with the other Scandinavian countries and is more closely related to the Baltic states, especially Estonia. However, Swedish is also spoken in Finland.

The Norse people and their language influenced the development of many other modern states. They travelled well and left genetic markers.

But this article below indicates that the influence of the Norse on the northern and eastern parts of Finland is not significant. It is more so in the south.

[Read More]

Hopefully, someone with real knowledge can weigh in to tell us a bit about the different cultures in that part of the world. Politically, of course we know that these are independent states with different types of governance.

I can add that Finland has one of the top educational systems in the world according to the ratings by the OECD using PISA scores which measure literacy, numeracy and science knowledge. And they have one of the top hockey programmes in the world.

I’d like to throw in some alternate commentary if I may, drawn from a linguistics-based course I was forced to take some sixty years ago. My memory is as ancient as yours, and I have not kept up with the field. But I remember studying the development of language groups, one large one of which is rooted in “primitive, undifferentiated Indo-European”. It was at one time called Aryan, and even indo-Aryan, but after WW2 Indo-European it became.

I’m talking different issues than you – in this case linguistic interconnections – but they are considered cultural issues (or were all those years ago).

The point is that – again, 60 years ago – the root language of a huge part of Europe and South Asia was PU Indo-European, and that it appears to have arisen from the region of the Baltic states and/or Finland. This is all done – or was, when I faced it – by tracing root spellings and usages. One of the key words was “honey”, I was told. Shared roots for such a word can be found from Finland to Norway to Spain and Portugal to as far east as the Indian sub-continent, where Sanskrit shares linguistic roots with many of the languages closer to Europe. IIUC, about the only European language unrelated to Indo-European is Basque.

I’m not trying to prove any point here. But when you started talking about cultural distinctions, I remembered the debates over social and linguistic inflection all those years ago.

Yes, various Norse migrations took place at various times. They were largely described as Gothic (Visigoths; Ostrogoths). Hell, even the Norman forebears of William the Conqueror, were descendants of Norsemen. Earlier, the celtic culture made a sweeping trek out of Asia Minor to leave their cultural signatures in hosts of lands from Syria to Scotland and Ireland. And before such cultural groups gained (or imposed) cultural distinctness, a linguistic culture made interlinking much easier.

IMHO, Denmark is as Scandinavian as as Norway or Sweden. Yes, it can be argued that only nations on the Scandinavian Peninsula can be called Scandinavian. IMHO, that is determining culture by geographic location, and I think that is less than satisfaction.

Anyway, this is just a ramble of sorts.

Cheers
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5539
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/5/2022 3:29:54 AM
Does age invariably confer wisdom ?

Sad to say, I don’t think so.

I often think of Hamlet’s Poloniius, an old man who gave exquisitely good advice, but in his own conduct proved himself to be no end of a fool .

Who said “ there’s no fool like an old fool “ ?

Putin’s just turned seventy. Who’s advising him ?

He takes inspiration from Dugin’s writings.

Musing on Russian military performance, I’m bound to reflect on how far corruption has compromised it.

Editing afterthought: The Queen certainly demonstrates enduring wisdom. Knowing when NOT to speak is one of her finest attributes.

As for me, I’m in my seventieth year, but I’m 69 years old, so I don’t start my eighth decade until next April !


Regards, Phil



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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3005
Joined: 2010
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/5/2022 10:21:04 AM
Phil,

I think you put this in the wrong forum again.

Put Hamlet aside. Think of King Lear ranting to the world and companion to the end - the Fool, one of my favourite characters.

Why did Lear go mad ? Well, he had 3 daughters. I did too. I can relate to that

And being a monarch is a bit like being the father of teenage daughters. Officially, I can say no but if the real boss (Mama) has said yes I´m going to be faced with one hell of a lot of drama if I do. End up only saying "Yes but.........." and " And don´t forget........." to their backs.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5539
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/5/2022 2:38:48 PM
Damn my bloody eyes, as King Lear himself might well have said !

You’re right, Trevor : twice I’ve posted in the wrong forum .

WTF is wrong with me ?

Regards , Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4278
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/5/2022 10:20:46 PM
Quote:
Does age invariably confer wisdom ?

Sad to say, I don’t think so.

I often think of Hamlet’s Poloniius, an old man who gave exquisitely good advice, but in his own conduct proved himself to be no end of a fool .

Who said “ there’s no fool like an old fool “ ?

Putin’s just turned seventy. Who’s advising him ?

He takes inspiration from Dugin’s writings.

Musing on Russian military performance, I’m bound to reflect on how far corruption has compromised it.

Editing afterthought: The Queen certainly demonstrates enduring wisdom. Knowing when NOT to speak is one of her finest attributes.

As for me, I’m in my seventieth year, but I’m 69 years old, so I don’t start my eighth decade until next April !

Couple of points, Phil. IMHO, wisdom can come with age. So can idiocy. But don’t look to Shakespeare for an answer. Much as I respect him, he was writing drama for less than sophisticated Londoners. Elizabethan drama hangs on greed and lechery and viciousness, not on sedate wisdom.There is no drama without faults in the Elizabethan and Jacobian eras. The focus is on human tragic failure.

George Meredith comes to mind: “In tragic live, God wot, no villain need be./Passions spin the plot; we are betrayed/By what is false within.” You want Solomonic wisdom, go to Greek tragedy.

Just in case my post gets silly, may I say the queen becomes more dear to me with each day? I know there are managers advising on every aspect of her public persona. But I am increasingly enthralled by her grace, her composure, and her understanding of silence. I believe that is called grace, which she demonstrates in abundance.

There’s no fool like an old fool” is, IIUC, one of those adages that in one form or another existed for the common folk while the hierarchy were still speaking French and Latin. It first appeared in print some time around 1560, but at that time there was no such thing as standard English. The power and impact of Elizabeth I hadn’t yet helped establish the rich complexities of what became the language of Spenser or Shakespeare.

At any rate, I don’t believe the adage has anything to do with age. I think it has to do with repeated foolishness. Think William Blake: “If a fool persists in his folly he becomes wise”. That might be a deeply rooted English-based adage as well, as are many of his “Proverbs of Hell”. They make good reading!

I don’t think Putin is being advised by anything more than the canon of his KGB training, and I sense his view of the world has little room for humans, focusing instead on the values of power, control and strength.Believing those are valuable are not indications of wisdom or age.

Cheers
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5539
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/6/2022 4:28:07 AM
Brian,

Queen Elizabeth II has been a phenomenal success , both in terms of endurance and statecraft.

Her Platinum Jubilee made that clear, especially when she played to the gallery by taking a marmalade sandwich out of her handbag ! It’s a joy to see someone retaining the mystique of high office, yet being able to impart such warmth and humour, even if it’s predicated on the advice of publicity officers.

You allude to “Solomonic Wisdom”. I like that phrase.

Jewish folklore intrigues me.

Always take advice from a fool, son ! , Dad used to tell me, with a smile. He was half Jewish.

I’m thinking about compiling some favourite quotes from Otto Von Bismarck and Mark Twain.

If any forum friends would care to help here, I would be grateful.

Regards, Phil



----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5539
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/6/2022 7:26:56 AM
Having unintentionally derailed this thread, I’d like to revert and suggest that I was right on the money by suggesting that the Irish Rebellion of 1798 ticks the box, fulfilling most of the criteria sought for in the original post.

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5539
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/7/2022 11:48:30 AM
Quote:
I've come across a couple of quotes, such as Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard, that “no people ever warred for independence with more relative advantages than the Confederacy; and if they must have failed, then no country must aim at freedom by means of war.” The Times of London made a similar remark at the outset of the war: "No war of independence ever terminated unsuccessfully except where the disparity of force was far greater than it is in this case. Just as England during the [American] revolution had to give up conquering the colonies, so the North will have to give up conquering the South."

OK, I know of a few wars of independence that succeeded before the 1860s, such as that of the Dutch from Spain in the late 1500s & early 1600s; the Latin American revolutions in the 1810s & 1820s; and that of Haiti, in addition to 1776 and all that. Perhaps we can throw Napoleon's invasion of Russia into this pile as well, unless this was more a failed invasion than a war of independence.

But what wars of independence were people thinking of, that had failed? Were there Irish & Scottish rebellions? Italian civil wars against the French or Austrians?

I'd basically like to compare the size of the armies in these failed wars of independence to see what the relative odds were.


Comparing the size of the armies is a daunting task, given the claims made by the respective parties. Certainly the American Civil War offers a challenge here : was it a million rebels against one and a half million yankees, as Livermore would have us believe ; or were six hundred thousand boys in butternut and gray battling against three million blue bellies, as the Lost Causers would like us to believe ?

In regard to Napoleon , mightn’t his Iberian venture be a good case in point ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
kaii
Oslo  Norway
Posts: 3051
Joined: 2010
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/7/2022 5:33:31 PM
Quote:
As a Stupid American I have to ask what differentiates a Norwegian from a Swede and those from a Fin, and with the Viking lore are there still connections to the Danes? Dumb question I know. Huge question and sloppy to ask.


vpatrick




I see George and Brian already answered pretty well on this Vin, so I will just add a small explanation that summarises most of the economic sand peculiarities of the countries of Nordic region (Scandinavia (Swe, Nor, Den) plus Finland, Faroes and Iceland):
(Note: this was pre the Icelandic banking crash)

Imagine a product that is very successful in the market. If this is a joint development by the Nordic countries, their contributions would be:
ICELAND would finance it
DENMARK would design it
SWEDEN would produce it
FINLAND would sell it
NORWAY would pocket the profit

Although made out to be a joke, there is quite an element of truth in this: Iceland (again, before the crash) operated a banking sector that punched far above their weight. Denmark has traditionally been focused on design and quality goods (furniture, jewellery, watches etc), Sweden is the most industrialised and focused om functional sturdy products, like Volvo and Ikea, Finland, managed to create world dominance in the mobile phone market with Nokia, despite the phone itself not actually being particularly well designed. Norway, of course, relies on the cash generated by raw materials and is somewhat of the annoying little brother that seems to succeed with everything he attempts, despite not having any real skills.

Sort of.
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"They tried to bury us - but did not realise that we are seeds." -Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4278
Joined: 2004
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/9/2022 10:28:36 PM
Kai, that is hilarious!

Lots more to be said about your descriptor, but not certain it is part of this thread.

Cheers
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3005
Joined: 2010
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/10/2022 4:02:11 AM
Quote:
Kai, that is hilarious!

Lots more to be said about your descriptor, but not certain it is part of this thread.

Cheers
Brian G


I agree BrianG but I have to put this in. The story is legendary.

Quote:
Finland, managed to create world dominance in the mobile phone market with Nokia, despite the phone itself not actually being particularly well designed.


Nokia basically invented the mobile phone. An overworked Nokia engineer had finally got a much needed day off. He was sat on the terrace having breakfast when the telephone rang. In the time it took him to get into the house the caller had hung up and he went back to breakfast. This then repeated itself four times. He was pretty annoyed. Later that evening he was watching Star Trek. As Captain Kirk pulled out his communicator he had a Eureka moment and went back to work determined to reproduce Kirk`s communicator.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
kaii
Oslo  Norway
Posts: 3051
Joined: 2010
Failed wars of independence before American Civil War
6/11/2022 5:26:55 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Kai, that is hilarious!

Lots more to be said about your descriptor, but not certain it is part of this thread.

Cheers
Brian G


I agree BrianG but I have to put this in. The story is legendary.

Quote:
Finland, managed to create world dominance in the mobile phone market with Nokia, despite the phone itself not actually being particularly well designed.


Nokia basically invented the mobile phone. An overworked Nokia engineer had finally got a much needed day off. He was sat on the terrace having breakfast when the telephone rang. In the time it took him to get into the house the caller had hung up and he went back to breakfast. This then repeated itself four times. He was pretty annoyed. Later that evening he was watching Star Trek. As Captain Kirk pulled out his communicator he had a Eureka moment and went back to work determined to reproduce Kirk`s communicator.

Trevor


And most people are surprised when they hear that Nokia has been around since the 1860s...

But, thread is completely derailed now. My apologies everyone.
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"They tried to bury us - but did not realise that we are seeds." -Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine

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