How did you get into military history to begin with?

Discussion in 'Barracks' started by skyblue, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    I'm interested in what attracted the members of this forum to the subject of military history. For me, it was an increased desire to understand history overall that led me to explore past wars. I also live with a military history fan and, so it gives us something to share and discuss.

    What led you to explore military history?
    Was a family member or friend in the military or a history fan?

    Tell your story here!
  2. untitled

    untitled New Member

    Always enjoyed learning about history, took all the history courses that were available in highschool. First topic I enjoyed was World War 2 history that I learned in the sixth grade, that was really the start of my interest in history in general.
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  3. Wade Wilson

    Wade Wilson New Member

    My grandfather served in WW2, so I guess that was what originally got me into it. One of my uncles joined the military, however it really came out when I joined the military. It's just incredibly interesting to see what mistakes could have turned the tides of war, or what decision led to overall victory. George Washington wasn't the greatest tactical master, however he really knew how to work with what he was given.
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  4. untitled

    untitled New Member

    My great grandparents served in the war and all of them unfortunately died, I come from belarus and 40 percent of the population was killed during that second world war. I believe this is why I draw an interest to WW2 history so much, crazy to think that anyone born in belarus after WW2 had a 40% less chance of being born then other countries.
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  5. georgew

    georgew Member

    When I was a kid, my parents used to take me camping in the Normandy region of France. One year we went and it was the anniversary of D-Day landings and so we went to see Arromanches and the military cemetaries along the coast. It was asombre moment for an 8 yr old and I never really forgot it.
  6. Brian Drury

    Brian Drury New Member

    Digging in my garden I found various WW1 related items which encouraged me to do some research and that resulted in some web pages you can see here.
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein Member

    Being conscripted into the British Army at the age of 19

  8. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I am not sure how early my interest in thing military was ignited but it must have been before my first schooling, my first learning to read. I must have "caught the bug" from the many televised dramatic shows which appeared in the late 1950s leading to the centenary of the American Civil War. In addition there were several shows by Disney which glamourized militarism (or resistance).

    But children's literature does not accurately depict real or fictionalized conflict resolution. And it takes a while for an unguided child to develop an appreciation between "popularized histories" and substantial, well-written histories. It takes time for critical thinking to develop and mature.

    But some of us do develop critical thinking. See the next installment.
  9. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I can recall an incident with a friend's father. I must have been about sixth grade. And I recall he was reading "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" at the time. Somehow the topic turned to the 1940 evacuation of the BEF & French troops at Dunkirk. He bought into the common notion that it was a stunning victory for the British. I countered that while it may have been the salvation of a horrible situation into only a bad one, it was a defeat for the British and a victory for the Germans. How could that be, he said. Because the British were in full retreat and the Germans eventually won the battlefield.

    That display of mature thinking knocked him for six. His attitude toward me changed after that.

    Talk history with the young. Discuss History with strangers, if they will listen. You never know when you might pass the flame of Historical Learning.
  10. SPWhitlow

    SPWhitlow Member

    My father, grandfather, and family friends all were in the military. I loved hearing stories from my dad about when he was in the military, and learning about the military always intrigued me a great deal. I loved reading about military history in all my history classes during high school. My favorite war to learn about was World War II, there are so many things to learn about it, and so much I have yet to learn.
  11. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    I had a wizened third grade teacher who told the entire class that we were all a part of history. An awesome statement that obviously manifests itself to be a huge responsibility for a little kid. But, the statement stuck. We were living in a time of military history. WWII was over and we had just backed off of Korea and were in Vietnam. Everything around us related to military action. Heck, even bugs bunny cartoons and the three stooges had skits about Hitler, Mousalini, and Japanese soldiers.
    The realization of my teachers words really smacked me between the eyes when I became an American soldier in Vietnam. Since then, I read very little fiction and history totally enthralls me. And of course, there is very little ancient or contemporary history without some military setting the course of mankind. I'm really picky though. I doubt seriously if I want to read J. Kerry's memoirs regarding his somewhat dubious part in the Nam.
  12. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    For me, it came at the same time as my interest in genealogy grew. Military had always been a part of my family with many family members then and now serving... but it was just always a fact of life "before" and never a huge interest.

    But then when the genealogy started!! Then it was finding records and stories of Revolutionary soldiers who happened to be my ancestors. And the grandfather who was killed by Indians (using that term because that's the term that was used for the war that was going on... 1755 in his case, and what makes it worse is that he was a professor and not a soldier. :()

    And then the Civil War... not only a few grandpas, but there were other relatives like great-great uncles and grandpa's 3rd cousin, etc. and the world of military history opened up to me. I was totally awed (and humbled) the first time I went to Gettysburg, and now it's become like my second home.
  13. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    I was reading Brian's reply and was pleasantly reminded of an incident when I was about 9 or so. I was living in Melborne, Fla. at the time and my school class had an outing at a known fossil dig called "Andersons Digs." We were paired off and given small gardening trowels and told to go try to find some bones. After looking around some, my partner and I decided to dig under a large tree, close to the base. We hit something hard and dug it up. We yelled for the teacher and she brought Mr. Anderson to inspect our find. It was an ammo box full of live 50 cal. rounds. Apparently it was part of a cache of ammo for soldiers guarding the coast of Florida during WWII. I remember that there used to be watch towers that lined the coast watching for enemy subs and ships. Never can tell what you can find if you dig in the right area.

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