There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 11:00
Robert is joined by Alison Stevenson to discuss Alfred Krupp.
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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Want to say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know, because after listening to stuff you should know. You will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It's a it's this. What what's happening now is the podcast that this is. I'm Robert Evans. Another introduction in the bag. How how did we do, Sophie? Are we are we are we solid? Is that one gonna? That was a three out of 10. Are we going to win a party? I wish that's what it was called. Yeah, that's the Imaginary podcast award I invented. I'm Robert Evans. This is behind the ******** a terrible podcast about terrible people that's made incompetently. By me, I hope everybody's doing alright. Our guest today is Alison Stevenson. Allison is a writer, a comedian and creator of the Audible original, like Mother Allison. How are you doing today? I'm doing not so bad. Not so bad is excellent in 2020 terms. Yeah, that's that literally is as good as you can be doing. Yeah. Allison, how do you feel about Germans? You know. Not I. Let's just say this. I am a Jew. So let me be more to the point. How do you feel about the existence of the German state? No, I mean, uh, you know, I've been dying to go to Berlin. It's a great town. Great Town has had some rough, rough patches a while ago. Sort of wall or something, yeah. Yeah. We're gonna be talking today about a lot of stuff. The guy that we're we're chatting about is a fellow named Alfred Krupp. Does the name Krupp mean anything to you? Umm, I don't know. I don't think so. Does it? Yeah. Without crupp there's no Germany. Like no German state ever comes into existence without Alfred Krupp. And also no World War One. And also may probably no World War Two. And also maybe no international arms. Trade the day. He's that guy. He's that kind of dude. Yeah, he's a he's a fascinating character, and today we're going to chat about him. But we're going to start by talking about something that happened on October 1st, 2017, when a submarine built in Germany by the Tyson Krupp shipyard in Keel, N Germany, set sail for Egypt. It was the 4th submarine the Egyptian government had ordered from Tyson Krupp since the start of the Arab Spring, and its total cost was €1.4 billion on its way to Egypt. Stopped at the port city of Emden, where it met a French maid Corvette class attack ship which was also built for the Egyptian Navy. Now, the hundreds of millions of euros in profit that these boats represented came from the taxes and natural wealth that, on paper ought to belong to the people of Egypt. But they don't, because Egypt is owned by the dictator, who took power there in 2014 after a military coup. Abdel Fattah al Sisi, during his six years in power, Sisi has brutally cracked down on free speech, fought an unsuccessful but horrifically bloody bloody counterinsurgency against Islamic extremists, and repeatedly. Murdered moderate protesters. Under his reign, food prices have risen and poverty in Egypt has soared. 33% of the country is now in poverty. So things aren't going great in Egypt, and one factor is that the country is basically owned by the military, which is grafting tax money in order to buy weapons from Germany. And of course, the significant amount of the money that's paid to Tyson Krupp winds up in the pockets of Al Sisi and of his his his buddies. Because that's just the way that military appropriations. Work in the global S this is happening not just in Egypt, but all over the world, but particularly in Egypt, because no country on Earth buys more German weapons than Egypt, and this actually has been going on a lot longer than you might think. We'll talk about that a little bit later. Also, as a note, Tyson Krupp makes all of the elevators you've ever been in. So yeah, this is freaky. But like I was, for some reason I was thinking about elevators. And I'll be thinking about Schindler. Yeah. Lol. Yeah. I mean, it's it's it's it's. We won't be talking about it super much this episode, but Alfred Krupp's descendants absolutely were responsible for 10s of thousands of slave laborers in concentration camps to make German submachine guns. They're cool dudes. The krups. OK. Yeah. No, this this family, this family's got some history to it. And yeah, so I started with that story because I think it illustrates. Kind of a weird continuity, because the relationship between Germany and Egypt and the selling of weapons actually started in the 1800s, and it's continued without break ever since, through two world wars and like three or four different regimes. And it's kind of a mark of how even though, you know, you've got guys like the Kaiser, guys like Hitler, the leaders at the top change, the people actually making the weapons and in a lot of ways driving. The conflicts don't change because for one thing, the Krupp, who was in charge of. German arms production during World War Two got arrested and sentenced at Nuremberg and did three years of a 12 year sentence and died the wealthiest man in Europe because the allies needed him to make weapons for the Cold War. These are the guys who are who never get punished. Like, right, we we we throw all the blame at the Hitlers and the gerbils and stuff and like, obviously those guys are ******* monsters, but the dudes who made the weaponry that allowed them to do what they did and the same thing with World War One, those guys never get punished because everyone wants them to make. Yeah, they have a posse and everybody wants what they have, which is the ability to make more ******* guns. Uh, it's good ****. Yeah, that's great. Yeah, I was like, great. That sounds. That's exactly how I would describe that. Yeah, it ******* rules. So Alfred Krupp, it would be fair to call him like, he's kind of like the real Tony Stark, right? If you want the actual guy, like, he's he's he's a brilliant engineer, inventor, innovator, who sold weapons to everyone on the planet and who had and who was like a visionary. He's not just a businessman, he's a guy who's. Able to like, innovate killing machines, and in fact, after a certain point, the only thing he was really capable of thinking about was how to build better guns to murder people with. That's basically all this man ever did. Yeah, yeah, he's got some musky quality to him. Although unlike Elon Musk, Alfred was talented, so. Yeah, before we talk about Alfred, we've got to learn a little bit about his family because the Kreps go back quite a bit. In Germany, the first information we have on the family, the first crop that we know about was a fellow named aren't Crup, who moved to a city called essence sometime in the late 1500s. Now Essen is located in the rural, which is a coal rich region that's the center of German industry. But at the time it was a sleepy small city and we know very little about aren't because, but that he was a man of means. We know he was rich. Because he signed his name in a book that was held in the city like Hall, and if you had a signature back in the 1500s, you were rich. Like, no, nobody was signing **** unless you had money back then. Now, our most important source for this episode is the book the Arms of Krupp, which was written in the 1960s by a guy named William Manchester, who was a a British man who actually fought against Krupp guns as a young English soldier. And I don't normally gush about the books that we have on this show, but I feel the need to here because the, well, the arms of Krupp is preposterously long. It is a massive, massive book. It's very readable. William is a really, really funny writer, and I enjoyed every page of this book, and I absolutely recommend reading it if you want to learn about the arms trade that currently dominates the world. Because it's kind of about how it all got started and for an example of of Williams writing style, I'm gonna quote here how he explains that he knew aren't Krupp was probably fat because this is this is fun. Well, the record indicates nothing beyond a faceless BLOB. It is safe to hazard something about the first corrupts physiognomy first. Almost certainly he lacked the gauntness of later Krups aren't was a 16th century German merchant and we know quite a lot about the customs of that class. They were above all, dedicated gluttons. Girth was proof of prosperity, the man who could out eat his neighbours. But it was admired everywhere. 1 performer devoured 30 eggs, a pound of cheese and a large quantity of bread in a single sitting. He then fell dead and became a national hero. 7 hour meetings were not uncommon. It has been estimated that the well to do spent half their waking hours either masticating or defecating in these circumstances. Only in abnormal metabolic rate could prevent a rich man from becoming obese, which I did not know and find fascinating. That's so weird. I kind of feel like we should bring that back a little. Just. Yeah. It would be easier to chase down Jeff Bezos if he wasn't swollen. You're right. I just find that amazing that like becoming a national hero back then was like, yeah, he ate himself to death. What a guy. Died a hero. I hope my kids grow up to eat themselves to death one day. So what little we do know for sure about aren't suggests that he embodied what would come to be one of the key Krupp family characteristics, the ability to profit from tragedy. 12 years or so after he moved to Essen, the bubonic plague stuck struck, and about half the town died. Corpses were piled up with no one to bury them. Whole neighborhoods became graveyards. All the good plague **** you know, the good plague ship were there now. Yeah. Classic. This is extra meaningful for us. Yeah. Classic plague. So while other men sold their property and drank themselves to death before the plague could get them, aren't bet that he would live through the plague. And he bought up their abandoned property. So all these guys are like, we're all going to die, let's sell our homes and buy liquor and aren't like, yeah, I'll buy your ******* houses. I don't think I'm gonna die. And that's how the corrupt family first ends up super rich, because they buy up all of these people's property when they the play gets it's always property. It's always prepped lands. The only thing that's valuable. Oh my God, I say, ignoring the real estate collapse that happened. Like 10 years ago? Yeah, I just like the first Superman movie. Anyway, we don't know much about the Krupps who immediately followed aren't other than that they survived the 30 years war of 1618 to 1648 with their wealth and property intact. This would not have been easy. The area Essen was in was invaded by Danes, Swedes, Spaniards, Bohemians, and worst of all, the French and about 2/3 of the population of Germany died during that war. So. Again, and also there's no Germany during this. Like I'm saying, Germany because people roughly know the geographic area. Germany doesn't exist at this point. Like it's a bunch of warring kingdoms. Like you've got the Prussians and the Austrians and the ******* Bohemians and bohemians. Uh, filthy bohemians. Yeah, all these different, all these different people, they're and they're always shooting each other too, and they're getting shot by everybody else and they're they're they're kind of one of the things that's interesting about the Germans in this. Is that they're like famously, famously polite and humble. Because they get their ***** kicked so much, which is a reputation that changes because of the things that we're about to talk about in this episode because, yeah, like, I think, you know, but yeah, they they stopped being humble after a while. Yeah. Yeah. So the crap family, basically, yeah. Despite all of this disaster, they managed to expand their land holdings and expand their wealth. And that suggests that they they all kind of inherited, aren't Strait of profiting from disaster. We know that one of our sons was a fellow named Anton Krupp, who was the first member of the family. They have decent documentary information on. We know, for example, that at one point he received a significant municipal fine for quote beating Doctor Hasselman in the street, which I think rules you just you just got into a fistfight with the doctor. I think you got, like, a bad diagnosis or something. Yeah. I mean, doctors then weren't really doctors. They were just they were drug dealers. Yeah, which only about half of doctors aren't out today. So penicillin pushers, they didn't have penicillin back then. It was just, yeah, it was just opium and Scotch. Even better in mercury. Mercury. They were like the original 711. Yeah. Yeah. Well, they were the original guy in front of the 711 who has a really bulgy. Coat so in in 1612. Anton married a guy who was at the time would have essence most prominent gunsmiths and Anton got into the gun making business. He was selling about 1000 barrels per year during the the 30 years war and he was described in the town council meeting as our highly honored patriot Lord. Now the corrupts didn't get straight into the arms business from there and in fact after Anton they stopped for decades. The family made most of its money because they owned a large store and they collected rent from properties and this was enough to make sure that the family's wealth grew every year in the mid 1600s a corrupt named Matthias. Bought Fields east of the town wall that would become the site of the corrupt gunworks that later armed Germany through two world wars. By the late 1600s, one writer described the family as the uncrowned kings of Essen. When Matthias died in 1673, the town left his position, the office of town clerk, unfilled until his oldest son was old enough to take the jobs. That's how big a deal this family is in the late 1600s. Now. Corrupt fortunes waned throughout the 1700s as frivolous family members and bad luck whittled them down from the family that owned the town. Just another kind of rich family who weren't as rich as they used to be. They bought a large steel foundry at one point, but they sold it in the early 1800s, and this leads us to Friedrich Krupp. In short, Friedrich was ambitious, but either dumb or unlucky. He liked to spend money, and he had no real talent for making more of it. In 1810, he inherited the modern equivalent of $1,000,000. Friedrich had other siblings, but the corrupt family tradition was for the oldest son to get everything, and this is how the family succeeded in holding on to all of their wealth and influence over the years. But it put them at a disadvantage when a real dummy happened to fall out of a corrupt. This womb first. And that's what happened with Fredrich, yeah. Uh, his first decision was to scrap the business like the the store that his ancestors had made all of their money with, and instead invest in an exciting new venture, cast steel. Now. At the time, people are real ****** at making metal OK, so like metals hard, right? Like you've got bronze, which is pretty easy to make and kind of durable, but it's it sucks when it comes to making cannons. Like if you're trying to blow things up through bronze, you can only make shoot things that are like projectiles so large it can only handle so much powder without exploding. It's not your word for it. Yeah. It's just not a great thing to make cannons out of. It was the only thing good to know. Yeah. So, like, at the time, Steel had existed for a while. And in fact, some people will suggest, like, we, you know, the Spartans. Everybody talks about how they were, like, famously good warriors. There's actually a school of thought among historians that suggest, like, they weren't any better that fighting than anyone else, but the nature of the iron that was in there, that was like, in near Sparta, was very easy to kind of accidentally turn into steel. And steel is 1000 times better than any kind of, like ancient metal than bronze or than just straight iron. It's just much more durable. And so the Spartans had steel blades, and that's why, like, they were famous just because they had better technology. And that's kind of what everyone was looking for in the Napoleonic era, right? Like, no one's good at metal yet. People have started to figure out how to make steel, but they haven't gotten good at it. And cast steel is like modern steel. It's like the **** that you can make skyscrapers with. It's the **** that you can make. Battleship cannons with it's it's like kind of the necessary precursor to the modern world. You can't have the modern world without quality steel, and people had started to figure it out. Particularly, the British had kind of started to figure out how to reliably make modern steel, which again, is cast steel. When I talk about cast steel, that's what I'm talking about, but no one was very good at it. And Friedrich Krupp, it becomes obsessed with making cast steel. He thinks that's how he's going to revive the family fortunes, and I'm going to quote now from a passage in the arms of Krupp. In the Napoleonic era, Casteele had a special cachet. It was the nuclear fission of its day, mysterious, glamorous, seemingly limitless. In its possibilities, steel, low carbon, iron toughened. Malleable is not a natural phenomenon, and in a time when chemistry was poorly understood, it was regarded as a marvel. In the past, smelters had produced small quantities of it by manipulating ore and carbon, with rods meantime regulating the flow of air through bellows to produce the metal. They worked on its field, on its appearance, on hunches and on slights and Arcana, handled down from fathers. The sons until the 19th century these hit or miss methods were good enough. But now, in the spring of the machine age, Europe was crying for big chunks of high quality steel. The old Smiths couldn't help, nor could the operators of blast furnaces. Furnaces produced only cast iron, which, with its high carbon carbon content, was too brittle to be satisfactory. Attempts were made to fuse several small ingots of steel and cast them as a single block. The Smiths were frustrated because the oxygen in the air combined with the carpet and the steel ruining the whole batch. Yet some men could bring the thing off. The secret existed and had been discovered, to the great annoyance of Napoleon. The discoverers were Englishmen. Not only had the British cornered Casteele, they held their monopoly of it for 70 years. So the British figure out casteele and no one on the continent has it. And this is one of Britain's main military advantages is they have good steel and Napoleon wants it because he's still ******* around with brass cannons, which are trash. And so, you know, Napoleon is, at this point, ******* Napoleon. He's the he's the Emperor, and Germany is just like a bunch of little warring. Right, so everyone kind of is looking to the polling and even the people outside of his borders. Young Friedrich Krupp became obsessed with the idea of figuring out how to Castile for himself and his people. And yeah, Napoleon announced a prize to whoever could figure out how to cast Steel 4 Continental Europe. He was going to give them, like thousands and thousands of of pieces of gold and ****. It was just a fortune worth of ******* French money. And so in 1811, Friedrich Krupp founded the cast steel works with the ambition of, like, winning the prize that Napoleon had set out. Now, this was an ambitious goal, because Friedrich had no idea what he was doing. He grew increasingly obsessed with trying to puzzle out the secrets of casteele and burnt through his entire inheritance. By property and equipment, while at the same time neglecting the store that had brought his family most of their wealth. His eyes were always on the prize the emperor had promised, and he began making loud public boasts about he how he basically already figured out how to make Castile. In December of 1811, he declared his loyalty to the Emperor of France. This was bad timing, since it was at the precise moment that Friedrich declared his fealty to France that the Emperor lost his entire army in Russia. So Friedrich, like declares himself loyal to the French crown, and then the French crown loses all of its power. Like getting massacred in the frozen steppes of Russia. Bad timing for Friedrich. Yeah. Uh, so he basically his loyalty wound up guaranteeing him a doomed job digging trenches for a French army that got its *** handed to it by Prussia while Napoleon was running away from the Cossacks. And the good news is that nationalism didn't exist back then, so most people in Essen felt as much loyalty to France as they did to Prussia, because, again, no one's really German then. So as soon as pressure took over in Napoleon's empire collapsed, nobody, like, got revenge on Friedrich, which is what would have happened. So we got to keep. So Frederick 4 now he's got no money. Yeah, yeah. He's broke now. Yeah, he's broke as **** he give. Yeah, he loses all of his money trying to make Castile. He fails. The emperor he was hoping to get a reward from is no longer the emperor. And it's just, yeah, it trash luck and also kind of a dumb guy. So yeah, Friedrich wasn't completely like, a failure. He succeeded in getting the corrupt family's first military contract, but which was just like supplying steel bayonets. Uh, and he sold quality tools and dies, but he was never able to make enough money fast enough to, like, make up for all of the debts he incurred trying to figure out how to make cast steel. And of course, the other family business failed. So Friedrich did throw a bunch of money into making a big machine shop, which was finished in 1819, but only worked about half the year because he ****** ** on like it would. Light on the local river in order to be able to function. Because you don't have like electricity then, so people will use rivers to, like, move the different wheels and **** that need to anyway. It's a bad he makes a bad bet and his ******* machine shop doesn't work, and he spends the last two years of his life impoverished and bedridden, ranting and coherently about his ruined life and fortune. He dies at age 39. Yeah, yeah. So kind of a bummer of a story, yeah. Wow, now. So don't always chase your dreams is don't do that. Don't ever chase your dreams. Never, ever chase your dreams. If there's one lesson of this podcast, it's that dreams are a bad idea and you should give up. Yeah, if everyone would just sit alone in a dark room until they died, we would have no Hitlers, no stalins, no Saddam Hussein, no penicillin either. So it's a mixed bag. We'll leave in her house. So but we're not leaving our houses. Who's how are you gonna get sick? And syphilis. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, enter Alfred Krupp. So, Alfred Krupp was a Friedrich's son, and he was 14 years old when his dad died, but that was enough to make him a man by the standards of the time, and he was, to say the least, an odd child. He was terrified of fire, which is, like, not unreasonable, but if your entire family business is operating a forge, it's kind of weird that you're scared of fire. He was fascinated by smells and particularly the smell of ********* which he loved more than anything in the entire world. This dude his entire life loves *********. Like, cannot get enough of it, thinks that it like inspires him and like sets his mind going and gives him his best ideas and it's great for his health. Like he absolutely loves *********. Is there anything behind this or is it just? We don't. I I don't know, but it's his entire life. We'll talk about ********* a few times in this episode because he's OK. ******* loves horse poop. Damn. Yeah, it's very strange. He was equally insistent as much as he loved horse poop. He was insistent that his own breath was poisonous, and so he moved around constantly in order to avoid breathing it in. He was convinced that if he stayed in the same room for too long, he'd breathe in all the oxygen and die. So weird *** dude. He's very weird dude. Yeah, OK, I don't. So, like, as a result of this, sleep was a nightmare for him. He couldn't really sleep. He had chronic insomnia his whole life. Like, he's just a miserable, neurotic wreck of a man who loves *********. It's awesome. Damn. Yeah, yeah. He's he's a very strange dude and I'm going to quote William Manchester writing a little bit more about him here. What can I ask real quick? How so was he like carrying ***** **** with him? He just made sure ********* surrounded all of his homes and also later in life made sure that his homes had specific like ducts to take the smell of ********* up into his rooms. He wanted everything around him to smell like ********* at all times. He'd loved you. He could not get enough *********. This is really making me wanna smell *********. I'm very it's not great. Like, it's not as bad as normal **** because they're vegetarians, right? Like, they don't eat meat. Like, I've I I grew up with, like, cows and horses and **** on, like pastures and like, it's not as bad as, you know, *** **** or something, but it's not a pleasant smell. It's **** you know? All right. Yeah. Anyway, here's William Manchester writing about this weird *** poop loving dude. Yeah, his chronic insomnia, which would have crippled another executive, actually may have made Alfred more efficient. He was such a bundle of neurotic quirks that they seemed to have supported one another. At night, for example, he wrote business memoranda, a compulsive writer. Over 30,000 of his letters and notes are extent. He trained himself to scribble in the dark, crouched, sweating under his eiderdown after dawn, flushed his workers from their beds, they would find Crupp scrawled praise or scorn. He propped on their benches to them his energy. Is a marvel to us. The greater marvel is that he kept this up for over 50 years without once being institutionalized. So he's a bizarre man and yeah, like, **** Robert, no ******* ****. That was so weird. Anyway, this is the man who helps invent the military industrial complex and creates Germany. Umm, he's a fun, fun dude. Yeah, they're fantastic. Way to introduce this episode. I mean, honestly. So Alfred inherited a tremendous amount of debt and a broken business because, again, his dad was kind of a ******* but Alfred was not dumb. One thing, like, again, unlike Elon Musk, he's legitimately a genius. And he was very shrewd. And he was shrewd enough to see what assets he had. The forges he'd inherited were substantial. And while his father. Never unlock the secrets of cast steel. It they were good enough to make stuff people could use and for. So for four years Alfred toiled, learning through trial and error how to make stronger and more useful steel, and also developing an eye for business. He broke even for the first time in 1830, and from then on his career moved steadily upward. He'd inherited 4 workers from his father, and thanks to a family loan in 1830, he hired five more employees. That year Alfred was absent. Herited workers. Yeah, yeah, workers go come with the company. It's it they're still kind of like, like they're peasants still at this. So it's kind of like. It's it's it's not you don't quite own them because they can quit and go find other work, but it's really uncommon. You tend to work for the same people your dad worked for, right? Like, that's kind of the norm. Yeah. This is not that far from medieval times, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Alfred actually is responsible for kind of turning crupp into one of the first, like, modern style businesses in the world. Like, he invents the pension, among other things. Yeah, he's a weird dude. So, yeah, Alfred was obsessive. He wrote his workers. Relentlessly, to ensure the steel they produced was as close to perfect as possible, he toured with samples of his products all through Central Germany and returned home after three months with pockets filled with orders. In his first sales trip abroad, Alfred had found his first true talent salesmanship. In 1834, when the 36 Germanic states of Europe established their first common market, which abolished all the internal tariffs, Alfred pompously sent the government a letter declaring that he would meet all of the German Union steel needs on his own. This was a lie. He couldn't do anything near this but his God as it got his name and people and governments. And that was his goal. So as Alfred developed new methods of making better and better steel, he grew equally paranoid about corporate espionage. He started requiring all of his employees to swear personal oaths of loyalty, and he started locking them into the works when they were doing their job. He's, again, kind of * **** that seems to be a theme, is like paranoia with these types of people. Yeah. I mean, one could argue it's not. Doesn't make them bad at their jobs. Yeah, you know, so he hired a bunch more people. He brought in his close relatives to help him manage the growing plant, and in 1838, he felt comfortable enough to leave on his first international sales trip to France and England. France had a lot of business to offer corrupt, and most days he returned to his hotel triumphant, with more steel orders to send back home. But on the rare occasions when he was turned down, Alfred collapsed entirely. At one point, he was bedridden for five days after a French company refused to buy his product. So yeah, he's neurotic again. On the whole, the trip was a success. But when he left France for England, his goal was not to make more sales, because, see, English steel was still the best in the game. Alfred was kind of verging on cast steel, but he wasn't as good or consistent as what the English could make, and England was the most industrialized nation in Europe at this point. Krupp had nothing that they wanted, so he couldn't sell anything to them, but he wasn't there to sell. He was there to engage in corporate espionage, and thankfully for the English steel industry, he was terrible at it. His first plan was to enter England on a fake passport with a name that he thought. Based on nothing, nothing sounded English. Uh, Alfred Krupp, CRUP instead of KRUP like he thought that that would make him pass. He bought a pair of Spurs which English gentlemen wore in those days, and he teamed up with another Germanic merchant with the idea of that. That they would pretend to be British people looking to learn the secrets of failed steel production. Some sort of accent. Give them away? Well, the other thing that would give them away is that neither of them spoke English. It wasn't even that they had an accent. They only spoke German. Alfred had memorized a couple of pleasantries from a phrase book, but he could not talk to people. He'd figured that the dozen words he knew and his fake name would let him pretend to be an Englishman who just spent time on the continent for a while, and it did not work. Everyone who met him immediately realized he was German, but they did not care either. Like they weren't scared that he would spy on them, and he was so bad at espionage that some of the English steelmakers he met even figured out that he was Alfred Krupp without saying him saying a word. And they still gave him tours of their factories because, like, he's not gonna figure it out. Just walking around the factory floor, yeah, and he didn't he. He was terrible at spying on people. He stayed there for five months and he learned nothing. And he also sold nothing. And it didn't matter anyway, because before much longer, Krupp figured out how to make Castile of their own. And once he was home, he set to work figuring out how to take advantage of the fact that now he made pretty much the best deal outside of England, and the obvious answer was the armaments industry. On his way home from England, Alfred had developed a dream of making a new steel cannon, and this was very controversial at the time, at this point. Europe all cannons were bronze and for complex metallurgical reasons I don't understand. Bronze cannons, number one, were only really short range cannons, like the big guns that you had in World War One that could bombard cities from miles away. You couldn't make those out of Broads. They had to be steel because they would explode under the pressures that those big guns did. And bronze cannons couldn't be breech loading cannons. This is an important, but kind of like, I don't know, nuanced gun difference. So barrel loading cannons work the way they sound, right? You you jam a bunch of powder into the barrel, then you shove a cannonball in there and you light it from behind and it it shoots the cannonball out, right? That's the cannons you see in all the pirate movies. Yeah, totally. Yeah. A breech loading cannon loads the way that like a double barreled shotgun does today, where you put the round in at the back of the gun. This has a bunch of advantages. It makes it fire a lot faster. It allows for more advanced kind of gunnery. It allows for like, shells. That are instead of just like a cannonball, it allows for explosive shells to be fired. It's kind of you in order to have a modern artillery, you have to have a breach loaded gun. People have been dreaming about them for a while. Leonardo da Vinci had sketched breech loading guns and they treat people had tried to make them for centuries, but they'd always exploded and killed the people manning them. So folks had just figured it's impossible to do. Yeah. So Crump has a dream that he can make this, like, a steel cannon that will allow him to do all this fun kind of can and stuff that he wants. And the dream what away? Yeah. Envision your your future. Yeah. I mean, it makes sense that I'm gonna get this gun, right? Yeah, I'm gonna make the best gun anybody's ever made so that Europeans can kill each other. Better. Like that that's that's this whole this guy's whole entire life and. Yeah, it was. You couldn't really have, like, because brass cannons were the only cannons that existed. You couldn't really have big guns. Even Napoleon, like Napoleon, was a famous artillery man. But his guns actually were pretty tiny compared to, like, what we now consider modern artillery debate. Well, they were big. They were big compared to him. Yeah, they were big compared to him. That's that's very funny, actually, you know. Thank you so much. No, go ahead. I think we tried pretty like that. In his masculinity, yeah, he's. I mean, he he had he had reason to be. He did, he did almost beat all of Europe and in several wars. So you know what? That you know, you know who didn't beat Europe in several wars. It's it's time for an outbreak. And that's my really bad. Or are we not sponsored by the Emperor Napoleon? No, no, no. He is not sponsoring this episode. Unfortunately. That is with us. Unfortunate. I have geared this entire episode to winning the Emperor's favor. Well, I guess we'll try to get Czarist Russia as a sponsor. Until then, here's some ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better helpp.com/behind betterhelp.com/behind. Hey, Robert Evans here. It's been like two months since I got LASIK laser eye surgery and my vision still 2020. So many things about my daily life has changed. I don't have to worry about putting on a mask and my glasses fogging up and have to take out contacts at night or put them in the day. I don't have to like, worry all the time when I'm traveling. Like, how many contacts do I have by go swimming at the lake during the summer? Something I like to do, go to the beach or whatever. I don't have to worry about losing a contact or, you know, bringing swimming glasses or something. With me, everything is just easier. And getting it done was easy too. You know, I went in, I had my consultation, they told me I was a good candidate and then I went back in couple of days later about it being about a boom. You know, my eyes were perfect. So LASIK Plus is a leader in laser vision correction in the United States. They have over 20 years in the industry and more than two million treatments performed. If you want to start your LASIK plus journey, you can get $1000 off when treated in September. That's 500 per eye. So visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free. Consultation now. We're back, and I'm being informed that some some tragedy seems to have befallen the Romanov dynasty. So I don't think we're going to be getting a sponsorship from the Czar either. And that is, yeah, that is a real bummer. I'm so sorry you're just learning this. I'm hearing good things about this linen character, though, so we might be able to. I think he might. Like adds a lot. Seems like a real products and services kinda do. It's so funny. We'll figure it out. So, yeah, bronze cannons are kind of the standard in Europe. The time and this dream of like, the fact that, uh, that Alfred Krupp is wants to make steel guns is not just like it's it's not just seen as like, it's not seen as, like a revolutionary thing. It's seen as madness because people had tried to make steel cannons and wrought iron cannons, and they've always been disasters. And in fact, in 1844 the United States had built a 12 inch wrought iron smoothbore cannon for the USS Princeton, and on the ship's gala voyage, they tried to fire it and it exploded, killing the secretary of the state and Secretary of Navy. So people aren't just like, this won't work. People are like it's reckless to even try to make these guns, you ******* idiot. And another reason why people are obsessed with bronze cannon at the time is that Napoleon had been beaten by Wellington with bronze cannons, right? Like Wellington, like bronze guns had beaten Napoleon 40 something years ago. And people are like, why would we need to change? If it was good enough to fight Napoleon, it's good enough for anything we could possibly use it as. And it's kind of worth noting here that at this point, you know, it's been decades since Napoleon's defeat, like more than a generation, and artillery had not changed at all. Like, if you could imagine. If we were still using the exact same weaponry that like we'd used in Vietnam or Korea, like that's kind of the situation in Europe is in in the in 1850 because things just didn't advance as quickly back then. So it's it's it's seen as kind of odd. In 1850, Krupp and his workers put together a £3.00 cannon for an exhibition in London, and these exhibitions were like the arms trade shows of the day. Uh, there were places where all of the rich industrialists and scientists would come and bring all of their latest innovations and. Achievements and stuff. This is like the birth of the this is the industrial revolution, the birth of the steel age. So people are figuring out new **** every year and, like, every year, so they'll gather in a new city to show off the cool **** that they've invented. And most of it's like, it's like a violent science fair. Yeah, it's not all guns. A lot of it is like agricult people are showing off plows and **** but the guns, like in crepis kind of the first person to realize that, like, well, most of the products there are like tractors and plows and light bulbs. The thing that people actually. That feeds people. Yeah. Guns are what people care about. Journalists don't write about the boring **** they write about the guns. Everybody thinks the guns are neat. So. He built this cannon a little bit earlier, this first steel cannon, and nobody wanted to buy it. But he figured, like, maybe if I take it to this exhibition because people just ******* love weapons that will build up enough buzz that often start selling some of this ****. Now he brought more than just a cannon to show off his company's new capabilities. He's had his workers slather together what was been the largest bar of cast steel ever produced. It weighed thousands and thousands of pounds and yeah, so he just like, he brought this giant lump of metal in a cannon to this show. And his enormous steel ingot actually won the expedition because that was like for years, in the 1850s, every one of these exhibitions, the product that would win, would be like an increasingly large lumps of metal, because people would be like, look at how much metal I can make now I can make more metal. And most of this is because, like, railroads, the big thing at the time, right? So by making like, by making like a 10,000 pound piece of steel, you're saying, like, I could make a ******* railroad for your *** real ******* quick. That's the whole, that's the whole deal, you know? Yeah, it's a weird time. So he wins the exhibition because of his steel ingot, and the judges completely ignore his steel cannon. And Alfred was frustrated at first because, again, his cannon had been ignored by all the people he'd wanted to buy it too, but journalists were drawn to the gun. And at first, the press piled on about what a bad idea a steel cannon would be, the observers, the London Observer, wrote. The brittleness of steel is so great that we doubt whether it would resist any successive charges of powder. But press within the London news and the Daily News had to admit that the cannon was almost hypnotizing the beautiful one reporter regretted that crap hadn't shown devices for, quote, grinding corn or surgical instruments or something more appropriate to this peaceful age into the exhibition than a modern field piece. I mean, did he test it out? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fired it stuff. Oh, OK yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, people just kind of doubted that it would continue working and stuff. But like, again, he most of them, like, came around because they just thought it was so beautiful. And there's this one British journalist who writes that, like, it's kind of ****** ** that we're trying to do this show about, like, the advance of technology. And, like, you don't come here with, like, new farming implements or new surgical tools, but you bring, like, a giant gun. But that guy was actually kind of the one who misjudged what people wanted at the time because the United States. Action of the fair to show you how different things were. the US, all we brought was like a massive plow. No, we brought like farming equipment. Yeah, farming equipment. A bunch of paintings of farms and ****. And everyone ignored it. Everyone ignored it in favour of the big German gun. And that taught Alfred a lesson. Which is that people only let people don't give a **** if you make stuff that will improve their lives. They like killing machines. Damn. Yeah, it's good. It's good. Yeah, it's yeah, absolutely. I don't buy a bunch of old cannons, you know, or a bunch of old stuff. I don't buy a bunch of old farming implements. I buy antique German handguns. It's weird. So what people did? If I could afford it, yeah, they're beautiful. And ******* plows are lame for nerds. Where am I gonna put they're gonna eat? Yeah, I'm gonna put a plow in my apartment. You're talking about. So Alfred Krupp was the only man at the time who really, like, realized this, that, like, that you could. Basically, at this point in time, weapons technology was entirely driven by militaries. And, like, there were, there were outside firms who would make weaponry for them. But it was basically like, hey. Need this kind of gun, and they figured out how to they try to figure out how to make it. Alfred was the first person to be like, I'm going to make something they don't want, and I'm gonna force them to want it. That was new. And he was the first guy to figure this out. OK, OK. It was slow going at first. Generals and Admirals and secretaries of war are inherently conservative men. And changed, frightened them. They wanted to stick with what had worked before, and brass cannons had worked before. It was almost impossible to get a new weapon system going. But journalists love new shiny things, and they love. Weapons, and so did their readers, and basically Krupp figured out that he could stoke in nations demand for guns by playing to the fact that people are drawn to guns kind of inherently, and he took a lot of advantage of that. People suck. Yeah, they're not great. It's kind of a bummer, but it works very well for him, although it is a bit of a slow burn. So at the time, advertising was not really a thing that existed in its modern concept. Like, there were ads, but like the ad industry did not exist. And so yeah, Krupp like new that these exhibitions like even if no one bought his product, bringing it there could still be a success because it would generate interest and that would generate buzz and that would eventually lead the sales. Now by this point in the 1850s, Krupp became had become a fairly large and successful steel company. He had thousands of employees by this point and what they made their money on was making casteele axles and springs for trains and and uh train tires like what are called train tires, which is basically like like the. The rolling wheels on trains, like he could make very, like the best steel to make trains possible. All of the early train tracks in the United States are made with Krupp steel. Yeah, like that's that's how he gets rich. Like, they're not making any money off of guns at this point. They're making guns, but nobody's ******* buying them. Like, governments want trains and **** and that's what they're making their profit off of. And so Alfred's commitment to weaponry was, was kind of weird. And his new, like he, he gets increasingly. Set obsessed with it. And for whatever reason, his kind of growing obsession with guns comes at the same time that his mom dies and he finds himself single. See, now it's sounding very like edible some, yeah. Some fallout, like, you know some penis thing going on. I don't know because he's a weird guy when it comes to his relationships with women. He desperately with all the course. Yeah the horse, the ***** **** guy is weird with ladies. Yeah, he's that's that's why he's he the come on. Yeah. His mind was basically his wife. Not that he like had sex with her or anything, but his mom cooked his food and kept his house clean and made his bed. And he had no desire for a wife while he had his mom because he he wanted, he wanted a mommy wife. Like that's what his his his his priority was having the having another mom dude, we hate 2020 then. Yeah, yeah, he wouldn't have been wild about it. He met the love of his life after writing into town from a long work trip and spotting her in the audience at a play. Her name was Bertha, and she was less than half his age and not at all interested in him. But he was in love with her, and he was rich, and that was all that mattered to the people who got to make decisions on whether or not Bertha got married. She could barely stand Alfred, and it's kind of hard to blame her. The man was frightened to stand near his own breath, and he loved the smell of ***** ****. It was kind of a hard sell, falling in love with Alfred Krupp his opening. A couple, yeah, definitely quirky. His opening pickup line to her was where I supposed I had nothing but a piece of Castile. I had a heart. Which I guess is kind of sweet, huh? Yeah. It's not a terrible opening line. Yeah, for the age. Wouldn't get me going, but no. But, like, you know, it was a different time. Yeah. I mean, and it didn't work on her, to be fair. Yes, I'm rich. Yeah, probably what he followed that up with. Yeah. Yeah. No. William Manchester notes quote. Given Alfred's temperament, domestic happiness was impossible. No one could live with such a man. He could barely stand himself. The match was doomed. And all that remained was to define the exact nature of the distress. Yeah, it's not a good relationship, but oddly enough, Bertha was the cold one in the couple's whatever else you can say about Alfred, he was absolutely in love with his wife, and he would spend his life obsessed with Bertha. Now, it was a love that knew nothing about her, and, like, was it absolutely uninterested in actually understanding her needs in order to please her? Because, again, he was kind of incapable of understanding other people in any way, shape or form. But he was madly in love with her, and she kind of. Despised him. It's a bummer, huh? That sounds like the perfect relationship to me. Yeah, that's like the kind of guy I'm looking for. Yes. I don't. I don't think that you are. I don't think anybody wants to be with Alfred Krupp. OK. No, not yeah, specifically, but. So, in order to woo her after getting married, he constructed a massive and completely insane house for her. The Garden House, which was a gigantic, mostly glass building that incorporated incorporated a number of greenhouses into it, which were meant to grow beautiful hothouse flowers. It also held habitats for Peacocks, grapevines, pineapple Groves, all in this giant glass castle in the middle of Essen. Which doesn't sound terrible. So far that sounds lovely, but there were some weird aspects of it so. Poor ****. Well, worse than that, actually, because he built the garden house directly in the center of his giant steel factory. And if you've never been in a steel smelter, they put out an enormous amount of soot and pollution, and as a result, within months every window of the garden house was permanently stained brown and caked in filth. All of the plants died. I have to assume the Peacocks did too. He had basically moved his wife to a glass mansion in the middle of a smokestack. Ohh God. And to make matters worse, the House had one other feature I haven't mentioned yet. There was a glass crows nest peeking out of the top of the roof so that Alfred could spy on his workers at all times. O it was kind of a nightmare. In other words, I'm going to quote from the arms of crook here. Alfred was installing heavier and heavier machinery, and the grunt of his steam hammers rocked the foundations of his home. Bertha couldn't keep glasses on her sideboard. If she put them out after breakfast, all would be cracked by lunch. Alfred didn't seem to mind. He was proud of the house, and to his wife's annoyance, he became a homebody. When she complained about the dishes and admiring friend jotted down her husband's reply. It's only a few porcelain plates. I'll make the customers pay for them, and when she countered with a plea that he take her away for just one evening to a concert, he answered sharply. Sorry, it's impossible. I must see that. My smokestacks. Continue to smoke. And when I hear my forge tomorrow, that will be music more exquisite than the playing of all the world's fiddles. Jeez, so terrible man to be married to. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is probably not surprising that Bertha left him as soon as she possibly could, and obviously she couldn't leave him. Leave him like, there was no getting divorced as the wife of a rich woman in the 1850s in the center of Europe, but she claimed to be sick with exhaustion. And maybe she might have been a hypochondriac, but basically she she played well enough at being ill. Or she actually got ill because they did live in a poison box in the middle of a factory that Alfred just kind of would spend, send her off to different spas and health cares and stuff and various fancy pants. Like, that's what you did if you were rich and sick. You would go off to some spa to get to heal. So he sends her out of these places, too, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's not wildly different. They get a private island just to unwind. Yeah. And that's basically what Bertha spends the rest of her life doing. She's almost never home, only that for, like, appearances, sake every now and then. Offered where? Visit her. But it's incredibly awkward and she clearly doesn't want him there. And I mean, fair enough. *********. Yeah, it's not unfair on her part, but it is very sad because Alfred never stopped being in love with her. He wrote her constantly, laying out every detail of his life and business in agonizing, like granular detail, which is why we know so much about him here. He wrote about everything he ever did. Question why do we know what she did? She smell like ********* like, what's my what's the like I. Oh, I don't think so. Would you be like, oh, I got you a new candle and it would just be like a ********* scented candle. He just liked having horses all around wherever he lived so that they would **** around where he lived and it would smell like ********* because that was his favorite thing. I just can't get over it. It's very strange you're saying things, but I'm still stuck on the *********. It's it's kind of impossible not to think about because I've never heard of anyone having that particular. I mean, it seems like a kink at this point, right? Yeah, it's got, yeah. It's gotta be like, his biographer even describes it as a fetishistic. Devotion to poop. Like, it's very weird. UM, now? Uh, so Alfred again wrote out every detail of his life to his wife in these this constant stream of letters, and Bertha clearly did not care and barely responded. She would occasionally justify her lack of response by saying she was too exhausted by her illness to write. Alfred solved this problem for her by providing her with a series of form letters that she could just fill in the blanks on in order to respond to him. And we have these 4 letters, and they are the cringiest documents. I've ever read in my entire life. Oh my God, yeah. Here's one of the form letters that he gave his wife. I received your note of blank and note there from with parentheses, pleasure, dash, sorrow, and she could just kind of check whichever one she was feeling that things are going not well. As for myself, I am very well, thank goodness. And yet certainly and certainly not yet plump and fat. But hope this will remain so soon. Like these are all like different fill in blanks and stuff and then it continues. Like since my last letter, I've been for a drive regularly every day through the delightful tear garden and go twice a day for one hour walking there and the most chemical company which a king would give millions to see. And again, this was not what she'd actually done. This is what Alfred had written out for her to send back to him because this is what he assumed she was doing every day. He was kind of trying to direct her life by having this letter in the hopes that she would do exactly what he'd written in the letter if she was going to be sending the letter back to him. It's very strange. It's very strange. Yeah, the letter ended with. I am longing to be back with my dear husband and hope above all else that he will be pleased with me. Oh, he wrote that? Yeah, he wrote that for her. Ohh. And then he ended it with only do not write me too often. That embarrasses me because I cannot reply. Yours is ever birth. That is one of the saddest things I've ever read. Ohh, man. Yeah, that's pathetic. It's really a bummer. Robert. You know what isn't one of the saddest things you've ever read? The products and services that support this podcast. Why, yes, that. That is correct, Sir. Yeah, they are fully devoted to their husbands, which happen also to be Alfred Krupp, but thankfully he's been dead for decades. So more than a century? Really. Prada? Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Families start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better helpp.com/behind betterhelp.com/behind. Hey, Robert Evans here. It's been like two months since I got LASIK laser eye surgery and my vision is still 2020. So many things about my daily life has changed. I don't have to worry about putting on a mask and my glasses fogging up. I don't have to take out contacts at night or put them in the day. I don't have to, like, worry all the time when I'm traveling. Like, how many contacts do I have by go swimming at the lake during the summer? Something I like to do, go to the beach or whatever. I don't have to worry about losing a contact or, you know, bringing swimming glasses or something. With me, everything is just easier. And getting it done was easy too. You know, I went in, I had my consultation, they told me I was a good candidate and then I went back in couple of days later about it being about a boom. You know, my eyes were perfect. So LASIK Plus is a leader in laser vision correction in the United States. They have over 20 years in the industry and more than two million treatments performed. If you want to start your LASIK plus journey, you can get $1000 off when treated in September. That's 500 per eye. So visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free. Consultation now. All right, we're back. OK, so Alfred's Canon business at this point was going no better than his marriage. By 1852, he still had not received a single contract for his new artillery. And so Alfred experimented with another revolutionary advertising tactic. The free sample, better known for little plastic cups of snacks at Sam's Club, and we little coffee cups at Trader Joe's, crypted the same thing with field cannons. He sent the whole cannon for free to the King of Prussia because he couldn't sell it, and he also had another one made and sent off to ZAR. Alexander of Russia. Well, the King of Prussia couldn't have cared less. The Czar immediately set to testing the cannon, firing thousands of shots through it, and then examining examining the barrel for imperfections. When he saw it was untouched. The Czar declared the can in a freak of nature and ordered his men to preserve it in the National Artillery Museum rather than ordering more or something, which is a bit of a bummer. So, like, he can't catch a break in selling people killing machines, which really ***** up our. Don't feel bad for this guy. Am I supposed to hate him? Yeah, eventually. But he is a sad character. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there was clearly no money in guns, but Alfred couldn't stop making guns. He and his team designed and built a new £12 cannon, and they brought three of these. And when I say a £12 cannon that's the size of the weapon, it fire of the ball that it fires is £12, like the gun is hundreds and hundreds of pounds. So they brought three of these gargantuan weapons to Paris for 1855 for the Universal Exposition. Which is another one of these big technology expositions. And again, at this point, Trump had made a grand total of $0.00 on cannons. The company made its money by this point, selling revolutionary railway tires, for which Trump had a patent. And by making machine tools, Krupp brought another gigantic steel ingot to this exhibition too. And this one was so large that it collapsed the floor it was standing on and nearly killed all the judges. Whoa. Because it's like 10s of thousands of pounds. And he won again. Of course, his ingot won again, but as usual, yeah. Yeah, well, I almost killed everybody. Like that's got like, clearly this is the best piece of metal that nearly killed us all. Yet oddly enough, they're not at all interested in the killing machines that he makes. But of course, as usual, the press and the actual people who attend the show are fascinated by his guns. And Alfred had divided, devised like, a beautiful way to show them off a special display with three steel cannons and six polished steel breastplates. It was the talk of the exhibition, but after six months on display, only one order came through 26 steel cannons. Said Pasha, the Wali of Egypt. And this is what I was talking about at the beginning. This is the start of the German selling arms to Egypt, and it continues in 2020. Egypt imports more German guns than any other country, so this starts under Alfred Krupp and it has not ended since. But selling a yeah, it's it's weird how, how? And it's the same company. It's crap in the modern era selling them submarines. It's Krupp selling them cannons in the 1852. Like, huh? Yeah, yeah. Interesting. But selling a few guns to Egypt was not enough to make a meaningful amount of money for a company the size of group. As the 1850s drew to a close, Alfred was still subsidizing his cannon habit by selling train parts. He'd nearly sold an order of 312 pound guns to the Emperor Napoleon the third, but the deal fell through because a French family, the Schneiders, had just started a new gun works at Le Crusoe. They lobbied the king to not buy German guns, and the first salvo would would become an incredibly competitive international arms market. So. Yeah, the three big gun companies in World War One and World War Two are Krupt, Schneider Crusoe and Armstrong, which becomes Vickers. And like, that's all cut. Like Krupp is the first of them, Schneider forms next, and we're about to get to Armstrong. But like, these are the companies whose arms race is why we have World War One, because they're all selling guns to each other. And like, the the thing that makes World War One happen more than almost anything else is there's a provocation. You know, the archduke gets shot, but that stuff like that had happened before. The reason that they actually wound up fighting is that there was this interlocking. Series of rearming schedules and everyone was convinced that they were in the best position as opposed to their rivals. And then if they waited to have a war in another couple of years, their rivals would have better guns. So that's like why the ******* war happens, and this is this is the start of that process. So Crump's first major international success came courtesy of Russia. After years of admiring corrupts cannon and his museum, the ZAR finally started buying Krupp guns in bulk. They start buying thousands of these weapons, and this sets international arms dealers of fire trying to crop copy Krupp steel cannons, and it sets their the governments of these countries equally on edge out of fear of falling behind. Alfred designs a breech loading cannon in the late 1850s, and when he tries to sell it to the English because his own company didn't want it, another firm called Armstrong edges him out and promises that. Down they can make the same gun, but better in English. And this was, this is really the start. The first arms race is this like, like, Alfred start selling guns to the Russians. That freaks out the English and the French. She's trying to sell guns to those governments, but they build up their own firms and they all start competing as to who can get the best guns fastest. That starts now. Yeah. From the arms of Crook quote, the arrival of Armstrong completed Europe's deadly triumvirate. Crump, Schneider and Armstrong over the next 80 years were to be celebrated first as Shields of national honor and later after their slaughtering machines. Hopelessly out of control as merchants of death. So that's pretty cool, that yeah, that's good stuff. And it all comes from this guy who just, like, is obsessed with making cannons and wants people to like his cannons, and it it leads to the killing fields of World War One. It's pretty sweet. It's like a real admirable. Like, I could see it being like a classic American movie. Yeah, he is. He's this bootstraps figure, you know? His dad leaves him in debt and like, nobody takes him seriously. Everybody laughs at his guns, and then his guns wind up killing 20 million people. Yeah. And it's funny. In World War One, a bunch of the shells that the British were firing at Germans and killing German boys with had crup markings on them because they Krupp had the patent on the type of explosive shell that was most common in World War One. So all of the foreign countries who were using like shells with Krupp patented like explosives in order to kill German kids. Those shells had croup written on them because that was part of the legal contract they'd cite. Damn, isn't that ******* cool? I don't know if that's the word I'd use, but I think it's ******* sweet. I think it's awesome. I think that's that's just great. Because again, you know, people talk about the ******* deep state. This is an actual example of that kind of thing. You've got, you know, these different governments. You've got the the, the French king in the war that we're about to talk about. You've got the Republic of France and World War One. You've got, you know, the Great Britain and you've got, you know, the ******* the, the, the, the Imperial Germany and the Nazi Germany. But behind it all are the same arms companies run by the same families that are to this day, in a lot of cases, still selling guns to people. Jesus, it's awesome. It ******* rules. It's so good. Again, not the word I would use for, but yeah. By 1862 Krupp was at kind of almost the apex of his power. His dominance of London's 1862 Grand exhibition was absolute past fares had taught him that the mob doted on weapons, and he played to the gallery. An artist from the Illustrated London News sketched a group of objects exhibited by Mr Krupp of Essen, Prussia, and the sketch bristles with objects of murder. 1. Journalist did find a pair of railroad wheels which had been run nearly 74,000 miles without having been again put into the lathe. But he was a digger, an exception his colleagues. Eyes were riveted on Alfred's artillery, and their speeches and their cheers were strident. The Morning Post, the Daily News, the news of the world were enthralled. The spectator rapturously told of ladies standing in mute delight and men dreaming of the battle music of the future. Even the times saluted the almost military discipline which prevails in Krupp steelworks at Essen, and concluded. We congratulate Trump on the preeminent position which he occupies. And of course, just like, oh man, I can't wait for this to kill me. They didn't, you know, it's feared that they didn't really. A lot of them didn't seem to be thinking about the fact that, like, their grandchildren would be murdered by the 10s of thousands by the descendants of these machines. And it it does say a lot about human nature that like corrupt also invents railroad wheels, which can go for 10s of thousands of miles without having to be repaired. Like a revolutionary development that makes international trade possible, that makes it that crisscrosses continents that like makes so many wonderful things possible. But nobody cares about that because Trump brought guns and like all these women are just like, it doesn't go boom. Yeah, men dreaming of the battle music of the future, which is actually the death sounds of their grandchildren. Like there were babies born during this that would die to the descendants of these guns. It's awesome. It says so many good things about people. Yeah, soon Krupp was selling arms all around the world. Prussia started buying his guns finally after he gave some to a he, so he gave it like he couldn't sell a big cannon he brought to this exhibition. So he gives it to the King of Prussia, and that convinces the King of Prussia to buy his guns again. It's a good tactic. Austria puts in orders his guns. Russia but brings buys more steel cannons, which inspires Turkey to start buying steel cannons. It had taken over a decade, but through a mix of savvy advertising and ingenious design, Alfred Krupp had succeeded in creating demand for his inventions. A local Berlin newspaper reported on one particularly large cannon deal with Russia by giving Alfred the nickname by which you would come to be known in history. The cannon king. Wow, I'm going to call him the ********* king. He loves himself some *********. He does, he does. So that's in the end of part one. How you feeling, Allison? I mean, ****. I mean *********. *********. *********. I'm not. I can't get over it, you guys. I don't know if I can be on Part 2. Yeah, it's very strange. There's more good ********* stuff in Part 2. Awesome. Yeah. No, no, no, no. Lots more ********* to come. Oh, yay. So how we how we doing? How we feeling, Allison? Feel fine. Good. Good. Yeah. Are you feeling optimistic about human nature? I you know, no, but I think that's the point, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's you're supposed to feel bad. I'm gonna go feel bad about the nature of humanity while I cradle my 1910 Mauser and enjoy, you know, the same thing that all of those people in 1862. Robert, can I have a cannon for, for, for, for for a present? Please. I will do my very best to find you a cannon. So not one of those. Kitty brass ones. I yeah, yeah, I want to go. Yeah, I want the good **** guys. The non ********* version. ******* kruppstahl, baby. Allison, do you have any plugs to plug by the way? I have my the the Audible original. Like mother, like mother. It is nothing like what we've been talking about. It is a mother daughter comedy starring Yee and Susie Essman. And we just argue a lot. And it's very Jewish and fun. So you know, yeah, if you. Yeah. Check that out. No horse should involved. There is no *********. ********* I guarantee. Wait, now I'm like wait, is there now there isn't. Yeah, no ********* but TuneIn for Part 2 of this episode, in which there will be a tremendous amount of worship. So strap in, buckle up and prepare for the manure filled conclusion of the life of Alfred Krupp on Thursday. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Want to say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know, because after listening to stuff you should know. 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