6mm-Minis

6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

NOVELS: "The Winter War" & "Guns, Germs and Steel"

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Hi Everyone,

Yesterday, my friend Ralph AKA L-4 forwarded me a post from our mutual friend Mojarn Piett AKA Jyrki Sarni in Finland. Mojarn is a huge historical buff and one of his prime historical interests is the little-known Winter War between Finland and the USSR. He found an interesting site about The Winter War and shared it with us the other day ago.

Check it out an enjoy:
http://www.wfyi.org/fireandice/index.htm

For those of you who haven't heard of The Winter War, I'm providing a link to the Wikipedia entry on The Winter War should you want to learn more about it.

Link here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_war

In a nutshell, while Hitler was taking his first bites of Europe, The Winter War was Stalin's first attempt at serious land acquisition in WWII. In 1939, Stalin attempted to conquer Finland, a tiny nation with not much of s atnding army that proved that numbers aren't everything. The Russians swarmed the Finns in large numbers, but superior knowledge of the land allowed the Finns to triumph although with considerable losses, but nothing like what the Russians endured. By 1940, an armistance was achieved, but several later border skirmishes occurred.

From a wargamer's stance, the war was very interesting because it featured so many of the early war Russian tanks that gradually disappeared from the later battlefields of WWII. In addition, the Finns made extensive use of Molotov cocktails and used tactics similar to what several Allied forces used later in the war against fascist Germany. The Winter War is definitely an interesting piece of textbook history, worthy of study.

I also found that Jared Diamond's runaway bestseller novel, "Guns, Germs and Steel" has been made into a PBS television special.

Check it out and enjoy:
http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/

If you haven't heard of "Guns, Germs and Steel," I highly recommend you check it out. I first heard of the book from an unlikely source... from the Apolyton computer game discussion group, associated with the popular hit computer game "Civilization" from Sid Meier. They wanted to design a computer game along the lines of "Guns, Germs and Steel." And what would those lines be?

Well, essentially the primary question that Diamond brings up in his book is: "Why did European countries come to the forefront of history and not some other ethnic or cultural group?" And the title of his book neatly answers his question:

GUNS: Groups crowded together had the constant impetus to develop more sophisticated weapons.

GERMS: The use of domesticated animals "innoculated" populations with them against diseases that groups without them were highy susceptible to.

STEEL: Access to natural resources was vital to the development of better materials such as steel.

At first I was worried that Diamond's book would be pseudoscience forwarding a revisionist "politically correct" view of the world, but after speaking to a number of my friends who are scientists, I decided to give it a chance. And while I'm not sure I agree with everything Dr. Diamond hypothesizes, I do find his arguments and evidence very compelling. And aside from that, "Guns, Germs and Steel" is a great read although an academic one.

One of the books I read back around the time I became interested in "Guns, Germs and Steel" was Orson Scott Card's "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus." It's an interesting novel of time travel and alternate histories, one well worth checking out. Imagine if the "New World" met the "Old One" in strength instead of at the end of conquistador guns and swords:
http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/card.html

Have a great Wednesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.
Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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