History Forums a go-go


Internet forums don’t have much of a reputation amongst people with brains – ranking as they do in the common conscience just below blogs for hubs of the nonsensical, the irrational and the dull cynical provocations invented by clock-watching office workers. Those which attract an audience tend to become cliques where backslapping each other for sharing opinions is the primary activity.

For those with a genuine interest in history this is a problem, many history forums are filled with “What am best…?” threads, typically involving folk without enough knowledge nor experience attempting to define which tank, airplane, gun, etc is the best ever. Similarly theres wild “What if…” threads where twisted improbabilities are invented fuelled more by alcohol or drugs than imagination. Lastly there’s the most sordid type of post; the “Duh! Actually the real reason…” the naked revision of history for political milage and both left and right wings are dreadfully happy to devolve themselves to this.

Thankfully it’s not all bad as there are some crackingly brilliant forums around, obviously they suffer slightly from the malady expressed above but it’s not their core activity – not by a long chalk. For all things World War 2 there’s three which have become solid faves for me.

ww2talkFirstly there’s WW2Talk a generally British and Commonwealth fuelled site where the membership verges on the academic historian. This is helped in no small part by actually having some real-life historians on board as well as having some of the owners of many of the best history sites and several veterans as members too. Sure there’s some buggering about but that’s usually contained in the Barracks, an area specifically for jokes, leg-pulling and rants. Generally it has the comfortable atmosphere of a gent’s club with the smell of leather upholstery and just a hint of gin.

ww2forumsSecondly there’s WWIIForums a seppo version of WW2Talk, the two are actually related but I don’t like to pry as to how as it’s very likely to involve a G.I. with nylon stockings and someone’s tipsy Grandmother. Obviously the content is more U.S. related but it’s established regular members are of the same ilk as WW2Talk and that’s what important. Instead of a Barracks they have a Freefire Zone, and bearing such a name does express how heated things can get. It’s interesting to see how a relatively young nation such as the U.S.A. responds to events – typically a youthful indignation to our British weary resignation.  It’s a stunning resource none the less, so God Bless America.

axishistoryforumFinally there’s the Axis History Forum which specialises in all things Third Reich and often with the most incredible detail. This trait can be off-putting to the newcomer but I suggest you don’t let it worry you. All three of these forums offer more than any single person might ever know of course, but AHF goes a little further in not only knowing all the details, but knowing them in English, German and several other languages as well. Rather unfortunately AHF does suffer the usual foolishness of the non-history reader, so it has to stress it’s apolitical stance. One of the folk behind it is Marcus Wendel who also runs the quite excellent Axis History Factbook where he declares on the home page it is not a nazi site and neither is he a nazi. Probably too many visits from members of one of those piss-poor forums I berated at the beginning, shame.

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One Response to “History Forums a go-go”

  1. Andreas Says:

    I haven’t really looked at the first two, but can vouch for the third one, as a former moderator there. Unfortunately for someone with a very specialised interest it has become too general for me, but for those with a broad interest into military history I can not think of a better place around.

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