What other countries could rewrite their history with a 'Lost Cause Mythos' akin to the (Southern) US

As the tin says: one generation after the American Civil War (Yes. That's post-1900. That's why I'm posting in this forum) the Southern states began propagating the 'Lost Cause': the idea that the soldiers of the Confederacy were not traitors nor rebels but well-meaning patriots morally at least equivalent to their Union counterparts. The reason they lost was because the South never really had a chance against the economic, technological and financial superiority of the North and the fact that many Confederates still signed up as soldiers even if their casuse was 'lost from the start' only enhanced their heroism.

Although I like to give the benefit of doubt and assume that the 'Lost Cause Mythos' opriginally was about giving Confederate veterans the same recognition their Union counterparts earned by actually winning the war, the movement quickly morphed into a celebration of the Confederate cause and it's values, in particular by white Americans.

It went on to provide a narrative for their post-emancipation systematic suppression of the African-American population and was used extensively to cement a new racism where the descendants of the former slaves were systematically denigrated into second-class citizens. Although originated in the former Confederate states, the movement/narrative/ideology quickly spread into the new territories that gained statehood after the Civil War and even found traction in some areas of the former Unionist states. And so by the end of the Woodrow Wilson presidency, in many parts of the country it felt that except for the abolition of official slavery, the South had won on every other level.

So here is the question. Could a narrative like this have existed in other nations, referring to other wars? Any situation where the 'bad guys' righeously lost, yet came back with a narrative that hot only freed them from the 'bad guys' label but also questioned the moral superiority of the winning side and laid the framework for many former excesses to continue in a slightly different form.

I know for some time in the late 1950's early 1960's an aspect of the West German re-militarization was the rebranding of several Nazi air, sea or tank aces as heroic soldiers, even if they were fighting for a morally bankrupt ideology, combined with a systematic glossing over of their battles with the Western allies in favor of their bravery on the Eastern Front against the Communists. This however did not go so far as to celebrate the Nazi extermination camp and the systematic reign of terror over the civilian population of the East. So arguably that was not a 'Lost Cause' in the strictest sense of the word.

I also hear that even today there are similar ideologies in Japan glossing over their atrocities in China, Korea and the Pacific in favor of the heroic deaths of their soldiers. Could that count even if it is not used to justify today's actions against Chinese or Korean nationals or businesses?

What other examples could be possible? a post-1945 Nazi-inspired France based on a lost cause narrative for the Vichy regime? A longer civil war in 1918/1919 Germany causing a 1930's resurgence of Communists or Emperor-worshipers even if their dreams of a new German nation were smashed in 1920? Elevation of former Nazi-sympathizers to independence heroes in regions with a strong seccessionist movement like Bretagne, French Basque, Slovenia, Croatia, Flanders.....

Your ideas, real life possibilities or Alternate History....
 
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Italy could've very easily developed such a myth regarding the Fascist Ventennio - hell, even today, it's quite easy to find people who think Mussolini's only mistake was joining the Axis.
 
I don't think it'd be too crazy for a 'Lost Cause' mentality to form around the Nazis in Germany.. All it would take is the Nazis having a conditional peace before 1942 (when the Final Solution was made official at Wansee) and the Nazis, for some reason, falling at some point afterwards, either through a civil war or through a gradual reformation of the government, though I think the former is more likely than the latter. As I've said before in other threads, National Socialism is the most anti-democratic ideology to come out of the early 20th Century, aside from Communism.
 
I mean, take British nostalgia for Empire and dial it up a notch, and you have a version of it.

Granted, it would be a different case, mainly in that the British empire didn't really collapse or end all at once, but it would be a similar sort of deal IMO.

Same with any colonial empire now that I think of it.
 
A successful assassination of Hitler in 1944 could ironically have given the Nazis a post-war boost. It might be obvious to anyone paying attention that Germany was completely doomed by that point but given the prevelance of Holocaust deniers even in reality I can see plenty of people saying the July plotters as being the 'cause' of German defeat.
 
@ennobee - other countries with a Lost Cause mythology you say...

Yasukuni_Shrine_201005.jpg


18j0ralroliaxjpg.jpg


...can’t think of any :p


[Let me just clarify there that I love Japan and the Japanese people but...there does exist a problem with how the war is presented in history and fiction. Yasukuni Shrine being a prime example, with the literature it hands out blaming America for the war and also claiming a desire by Japan to liberate Asian colonies.]
 
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As the tin says: one generation after the American Civil War (Yes. That's post-1900. That's why I'm posting in this forum) the Southern states began propagating the 'Lost Cause': the idea that the soldiers of the Confederacy were not traitors nor rebels but well-meaning patriots morally at least equivalent to their Union counterparts. The reason they lost was because the South never really had a chance against the economic, technological and financial superiority of the North and the fact that many Confederates still signed up as soldiers even if their casuse was 'lost from the start' only enhanced their heroism.

Although I like to give the benefit of doubt and assume that the 'Lost Cause Mythos' opriginally was about giving Confederate veterans the same recognition their Union counterparts earned by actually winning the war, the movement quickly morphed into a celebration of the Confederate cause and it's values, in particular by white Americans.

It went on to provide a narrative for their post-emancipation systematic suppression of the African-American population and was used extensively to cement a new racism where the descendants of the former slaves were systematically denigrated into second-class citizens. Although originated in the former Confederate states, the movement/narrative/ideology quickly spread into the new territories that gained statehood after the Civil War and even found traction in some areas of the former Unionist states. And so by the end of the Woodrow Wilson presidency, in many parts of the country it felt that except for the abolition of official slavery, the South had won on every other level.

So here is the question. Could a narrative like this have existed in other nations, referring to other wars? Any situation where the 'bad guys' righeously lost, yet came back with a narrative that hot only freed them from the 'bad guys' label but also questioned the moral superiority of the winning side and laid the framework for many former excesses to continue in a slightly different form.

I know for some time in the late 1950's early 1960's an aspect of the West German re-militarization was the rebranding of several Nazi air, sea or tank aces as heroic soldiers, even if they were fighting for a morally bankrupt ideology, combined with a systematic glossing over of their battles with the Western allies in favor of their bravery on the Eastern Front against the Communists. This however did not go so far as to celebrate the Nazi extermination camp and the systematic reign of terror over the civilian population of the East. So arguably that was not a 'Lost Cause' in the strictest sense of the word.

I also hear that even today there are similar ideologies in Japan glossing over their atrocities in China, Korea and the Pacific in favor of the heroic deaths of their soldiers. Could that count even if it is not used to justify today's actions against Chinese or Korean nationals or businesses?

What other examples could be possible? a post-1945 Nazi-inspired France based on a lost cause narrative for the Vichy regime? A longer civil war in 1918/1919 Germany causing a 1930's resurgence of Communists or Emperor-worshipers even if their dreams of a new German nation were smashed in 1920? Elevation of former Nazi-sympathizers to independence heroes in regions with a strong seccessionist movement like Bretagne, French Basque, Slovenia, Croatia, Flanders.....

Your ideas, real life possibilities or Alternate History....
So this is unfortunately currently a trend in many nations around the globe including in established democracies.
 
Finnish concept of torjuntavoitto at the end of the Cold War. Large segments of the postwar generation eagerly accepted the view of general Adolf Ehrnrooth: that Finland survived the wars with Soviet Union without occupation, Western democracy and high standards of living were retained, and in 1944 the Finnish Army managed to stop the invasion on all fronts, so the wars were "a defensive victory" instead of a total defeat. This was part of a wider cultural change where the war years and surviving veterans were lifted to the center of the mythos of Finnish nationalism.
 
I think the Serbs are the world champions at white-washing their history and portraying Serbia as some heroic victim of all the other evil powers, that off course never did anything wrong.
 
@ennobee - other countries with a Lost Cause mythology you say...

Yasukuni_Shrine_201005.jpg


18j0ralroliaxjpg.jpg


...can’t think of any :p


[Let me just clarify there that I love Japan and the Japanese people but...there does exist a problem with how the war is presented in history and fiction. Yasukuni Shrine being a prime example, with the literature it hands out blaming America for the war and also claiming a desire by Japan to liberate Asian colonies.]

You could say that the Lost Cause mythology is more extreme in Japan than it is in the USA.

Take this for example.

"What happened to Azuma Shiro, the first Japanese veteran to admit openly his crimes in Nanking, is a spectacular example of the system of Japanese intimidation at its worst. In 1987 he created a sensation when he became the first former Japanese soldier to apologize in public for his role in the Nanking massacre. On the eve of his departure to Nanking to participate in a fifty-year memorial ceremony of the great Rape, he gave interviews to newspaper and television reporters at a press conference in Kyoto. The result was an avalanche of criticism and death threats. To protect himself, Azuma retired from his company and moved with his wife into a house in a tiny village outside Kyoto, where he kept an arsenal of weapons, such as truncheons, clubs, pepper sprays, chains, and knuckle dusters. The troubles for Motoshima Hitoshi, the mayor of Nagasaki, began when he was asked by a Communist Party member in the city assembly what he thought of the emperor’s wartime guilt. It was December 7, 1988, the forty-seventh anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Emperor Hirohito was slowly dying of cancer, and the nation was mourning the passing of the Showa era by muting the holiday festivities. Motoshima responded that, having read accounts of the war from abroad and served as a soldier himself, he believed that the emperor bore responsibility for the war. The response to his statement was immediate. The next day enraged city legislators and the local branch of the Liberal Democratic Party demanded that the mayor retract his words. But Motoshima refused, announcing that he could not “betray his own heart.” His opponents then embarked on a violent campaign of harassment and intimidation calculated to bring the mayor to his knees. The Liberal Democrats not only dismissed him as the counsel to their organization but succeeded in convincing the prefectural governor to refuse to cooperate politically with the mayor. Right-wing groups even called for Motoshima’s death. On December 19, 1988, twenty-four ultranationalist groups drove through Nagasaki on thirty loudspeaker trucks, blasting their demands for “divine retribution” through Motoshima’s death. Two days later the number of groups demonstrating in Nagasaki had grown to sixty-two, and the number of loudspeaker trucks to eighty-two." (from "The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II" by Iris Chang)
 
What is Franco?

and then there’s that time that two fascist European powers went into a mutually genocidal war with each other and destroyed a multiethnic democracy (and their own left movements at home) both due to lost cause myths. Thankfully Satan has three mouths so after Milosevic and Tudjman he still has room to chew Judas.
 
Ukrainian Insurgent Army/UPA?
Or Croatian Ustaše?
I can comment on the latter. It's an extremely complex situation, because supporters of the Ustaše (the descendants of that actual group's members) have fought for the independence of Croatia in a war from 1991 to 1995, alongside regular troops. The enemy then was the same as it was in 1941- Serbs. Reason for the animosity: attempts to impose Serbian hegemony over Croats and other nationalities, through an atmosphere of state terror, language suppression, etc.

Most people have some relatives who fought in the Ustaše/Home Guard, or in the Partisans. Croatia is split ideologically, and a portion of its citizens refuses to accept the constitutional link to antifascism, because they believe it was basically a second Serbian hegemony, although masked.
However, the leftist portion of the citizenry rightfully points out that the Ustaše gave away Croatian lands to Italy. They are traitors, even in a nationalist sense.

I assume UPA supporters rightfully see themselves as fighting Russian supremacism, analogous to how some Croats view Ustaše vs. Serbs. The UPA treatment of Poles is an strong counterargument, however.
 
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Portugal

In 1578 King D. Sebastião died childless, causing Portugal to fall in Spanish hands for 60 years, with the loss of much of the Empire to the british and dutch. Much of Porugal's decline was blamed on this. For many generations there was a feeling of "what if" regarding his death, and what would have happened if he had not died; this has been called Sebastianismo.
 
I assume UPA supporters rightfully see themselves as fighting Russian supremacism, analogous to how some Croats view Ustaše vs. Serbs. The UPA treatment of Poles is an strong counterargument, however.
UPA in Central/Eastern Ukraine also is often viewed as bunch of criminals, traitors and collaborators. That is not just Polish or Russian view.
 
I'd say a lot of Hitler's appeal (and his appeals) shared some aspects of "the lost cause". Not so much in the "doomed from the start" way, but in the " we have been unfairly maligned and victimised" way.
 
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This happened already to a small extent IOTL for France, with French Romanticism being in the vein of this for the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era, and of course the myth that "Every Frenchman was in the resistance" promoted after WWII to avoid a potential civil war between Gaullists, Communists, and ex-Vichy supporters.
 
You could argue that there's such a narrative promoted in certain circles around the Vietnam War - the idea that the war could have been won if not for those darn politicians and hippies, the idea of it being 'the right war fought for the wrong reasons', stuff like that...
 
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