Korin wrote:Why is that? Is this because we are lacking stuff about the loser side of wars? Why is history written by the victor?
Yes. The victor has the power over individuals including the press and historians. Dissenting scholars and media are often suppressed or destroyed. This leaves only one account of a conflict/subject unless other outside and cross-referencable sources exist.
I think this is a huge oversimplification, for several reasons. However, I generally do think history is written by and for the victors, but the nature and rationales of both victor and loser determine what records get left behind and for what purposes they are used.
Let's use two recent examples, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, who happened to be allies on the losing side of the same war.
The thing one has to remember about the Germans is that they were meticulous record-keepers to begin with, and they recorded everything
- including their regime's ghastliest and most heinous crimes against the socialists, the Jews and the Gypsies. When the Allies invaded, they had no need or desire to destroy the primary-source records left by the Nazis - indeed, they made up the bulk of the evidence used in later war-crimes trials. The victors in this case had every desire to keep the historical record intact.
Japan was different. They didn't keep very good track of things, and many of the records were destroyed either in Allied bombing campaigns or by the Japanese themselves when they saw defeat coming. Also, the Allies (apart from China) didn't much care what happened to Japanese military documents. As such, our primary-source references in the Pacific theatre from the Japanese side are much more fragmentary.
The character of the victor matters - to what degree they care about truth and the good, as opposed to power for power's own sake. If the Nazis and Japanese had won, I very
highly doubt that many primary records from the Allies would have survived. That said, I will absolutely grant that the victors do indeed have a vested interest in controlling the public narrative outside academia in the aftermath of a war, and that has applied as much to the Allies as to anyone else.