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"lions Led By Donkeys" - Topic Close To Billb's Heart


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One last thing, you cant really accuse Time team of promoting a leftist agenda. They did a really good job of illustrating a little known action during the battle of the somme that, due to good staff planning and a highly capable development team, proved unlike much of the rest of that battle to be highly successful.

 

Rest of it on 4on demand, though you may have a job finding it if you are outside the Uk. Well worth watching though, a completely terrifying weapon.

Indeed, but Time Team is not a history prog Stuart, it is an archaeology prog and Robinson is merely the celeb frontman; does he even appear in the one about the Somme flame thrower?. Whether or I was talking about stuff Robinson's Crime & History TV series. :)

 

BillB

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Buy a bigger screen you tightwad. :P

This quote-inception crap is becoming a joke where one quote will contain four full posts inside of quotes inside of quotes of quotes.

Plus when people are quoting 700 word posts just to reply to one sentence it is pointless as people are perfectly capable of reading the original.

Highlight what you're replying to for reference or leave it.

Plus you're just wasting electrons and warming the planet.

Congratulations, you just killed a baby seal through lazy quoting.

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Stuart Galbraith wrote: Im pretty sure he was in that one, he was present in the dig on the Western Front when they recovered the bits of the flamer if memory serves. Though i concede, those two fellas at the flamer demonstration were really center stage, the chap in the 'digger' hat has been in numerous WW1 dig programmes and seems to know his onions (or toffee apples).

 

That would be Peter Barton, the other guy is archaeologist Tony Pollard from Two Men In A Trench; he works out of Glasgow Uni. Barton has done some good stuff on telly and bookwise, his Unseen Panoramas book with the IWM is pretty good. OTOH he does talk pish sometimes. :)

 

Ref the toffee apples, nice one, I see what you did there. ;) :)

 

BillB

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...Related: Serbian historians prove Princip not at fault for WW I, film at eleven.

 

Anyway, forgot about that, but if anyone wanted to dig some interesting facts they should look at correspondence that went between Pasic and British embassy. I read published part, and British really though that A-H will back down after Serbian response to ultimatum. Also they assured Pasic that in case of A-H agression vs Serbia they would do anything, including use of military force to prevent any kind of occupation or loss or independence of Serbia.

Problem is that for rest to be published, someone would have to dig up archives that are in total and utter chaos (boxes after boxes of unlabeled papers w/o any semblance of order), so making overblown statements and fascinating lies is way easier.

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There was an interesting article by a social historian in the RUSI Journal about a dozen years ago. The point made was that conscription resulted in all sorts of people who were never going to volunteer finding themselves on the W Front, including a fair number of what today would be called 'luvvies'. For these people it was a total and utter culture shock, and hence much of the 1920s writing. For the industrial working class it wasn't that bad, they got three meals a day, sudden death wasn't a stranger (industrial OH&S was unheard of) and their immediate managers (ie company level officers) shared the risks, took an interest in them and looked out for them.

 

As for the generals, they were forever riding/driving around visiting their troops (not lurking in chateaus) and were open to novel ideas (who first used tanks? ah the 'donkeys'). The reality was there was no simple bloodless solution to the situation on the W Front.

 

There was no linear road of events in mid 1914, its best to think of these events as a set of interlocking mechanisms each with its own logic. However, my own view is that the root cause was the failure of the revolution in 1848 (and the ensuing survival of the three autoracies until 1917/8), and its consequences were not really closed until 1989.

Fair one ref the last two paras and especially the last, but the first bit is looking at the past through modern glasses I think and more importantly it totally misses arguably the most significant development of that era. The BA didn't leap from BEF to conscription, there was also the New Army raised by Kitchener, and the fact that the latter reflected every facet of British society from top to bottom blows a bit of a hole in that theory I think.

 

No, I think the thesis is sound. It doesn't really matter whether they were volunteers or conscripts, the vast majority of soldiers were working class, not least because that was the demographic. I'm not sure that agricultural labouring was a lighthouse of good OH&S. What is abundantly clear is that for the middle classes the trenches were an unimaginable experience, and it was from these people that the 'luvvies' of the 1920s were drawn. I do suggest that if you are actually interested in the subject then find the original article.

 

On another matter, I'm not sure that any British general or staff officer in the 20th century experienced a war that met their expectations. The basic reason for this is that mostly the British did not start them, hence did not have the initial initiative to shape them (which may or may not have been possible for the initiator).

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On another matter, I'm not sure that any British general or staff officer in the 20th century experienced a war that met their expectations. The basic reason for this is that mostly the British did not start them, hence did not have the initial initiative to shape them (which may or may not have been possible for the initiator).

 

 

I think it's more accurate to say that, in the case of total war at least, nobody gets the war they expect. War turns out to be a highly interactive process that educates all participants as they go along.

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I think it's more accurate to say that, in the case of total war at least, nobody gets the war they expect. War turns out to be a highly interactive process that educates all participants as they go along.

 

Those who does not kill, of course.

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No, I think the thesis is sound. It doesn't really matter whether they were volunteers or conscripts, the vast majority of soldiers were working class, not least because that was the demographic. I'm not sure that agricultural labouring was a lighthouse of good OH&S. What is abundantly clear is that for the middle classes the trenches were an unimaginable experience, and it was from these people that the 'luvvies' of the 1920s were drawn. I do suggest that if you are actually interested in the subject then find the original article.

On another matter, I'm not sure that any British general or staff officer in the 20th century experienced a war that met their expectations. The basic reason for this is that mostly the British did not start them, hence did not have the initial initiative to shape them (which may or may not have been possible for the initiator).

[Apologies for the crap formatting, was trying to keep stuff on Archei'e screen. :) The quoting thing is a roayl pain in the arse tho. :angry: )

Would agree with the last para at least up to a point, but regarding the first part I disagree. The thesis is not sound as you have presented it for a number of reasons, not least because you could argue that the trenches were no less an unimaginable experience for working class men; the latter likely adapted better to military service than middle-class recruits, but military service and the trenches were not the same thing. More importantly, the thesis is too broad brush because it appears to treat the 1914-18 Army as a homogeneous whole whereas it was really three or four separate Armies; the pre-War Regulars, the Territorials, the New Army and the Conscript Army. The social origin of the first is irrelevant and I expect there were a fair few middle-class folk in the Territorials due to its recruiting model. The wild card is the 2.5 million strong New Army which contained a relatively huge number of middle-class men, many of them professionals more than qualified to serve as officers but who preferred to serve in the ranks with their friends and colleagues; in some instances there were entire battalions made up of such men. I also suspect there were more than a few of what we'd now call luvvies, such as writers, poets, actors etc in those rank, and AFAIK the latter occupations were not protected there was likely a proportion of them among the middle-class cohort of conscripts too. I don't think that middle-class familiarity with the trenches was anywhere near as thin on the ground as you suggest, and I don't therefore think the linkage between the middle-class and luvvies is valid either. Now if we take "luvvies" to mean the Bloomsbury Group then yes, their experience of the trenches was virtually nil as the male members of that group were all either conscientious objectors or medically unfit, which I suspect is why their views were virtually ignored at the time. But it is too much of a stretch to apply that to the middle-class as a whole, IMHO.

BillB

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"[Apologies for the crap formatting, was trying to keep stuff on Archei'e screen. :) The quoting thing is a roayl pain in the arse tho. :angry: )"

 

I don't care what everyone say about you, you're alright in my book! ^_^

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...Related: Serbian historians prove Princip not at fault for WW I, film at eleven.

 

Anyway, forgot about that, but if anyone wanted to dig some interesting facts they should look at correspondence that went between Pasic and British embassy. I read published part, and British really though that A-H will back down after Serbian response to ultimatum. Also they assured Pasic that in case of A-H agression vs Serbia they would do anything, including use of military force to prevent any kind of occupation or loss or independence of Serbia.

Problem is that for rest to be published, someone would have to dig up archives that are in total and utter chaos (boxes after boxes of unlabeled papers w/o any semblance of order), so making overblown statements and fascinating lies is way easier.

 

 

British records are available on the internet (google "Gooch origins Ww1"). The British took a hands off position towards the Austro-Serbian dispute, with no promises of any type to Serbia. Around the 30th Grey went as far as to propose the occupation of Belgrade and surrounding environs by the Austrian army, as a precursor to negotiations.

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The root of the thesis is that for most of the people that wrote about the horrors of the W Front their experience (or the experience of their friends) had been totally alien and entirely different to anything in their previous experience. Compounded by the fact that the average infantry soldier knew little about what was happening more that a couple of hundred yards away. In contrast the industrial working class was used to living and working conditions that were far closer to those on the W Front, and the latter had some upsides.

 

I do suggest you read the original article.

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The 'lions led by donkeys' thing was obvious at the time and it was recorded as such at the time. Not in those words of course but in the more polite words of the times. Revisionism won't change that. The simple fact is that at the beginning there was no real and universal understanding of what would happen when modern weapons were involved, something which I find incredible but apparently that was the situation. Brit generals were not idiots but as the war progressed some adapted and learnt, some were incapable and then we had the cavalry man in charge who thought/dreamed that just one more push would bust the front wide open.

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The 'lions led by donkeys' thing was obvious at the time and it was recorded as such at the time. Not in those words of course but in the more polite words of the times. Revisionism won't change that. The simple fact is that at the beginning there was no real and universal understanding of what would happen when modern weapons were involved, something which I find incredible but apparently that was the situation. Brit generals were not idiots but as the war progressed some adapted and learnt, some were incapable and then we had the cavalry man in charge who thought/dreamed that just one more push would bust the front wide open.

Thanks for that. Now why don't you take your trolling back to the several threads you've created for that purpose and let the grown ups talk, there's a love.

 

BillB

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And to illustrate that tinkering with the historical facts for the benefit of current mores is an ongoing process...

 

 

 

The Daily Telegraph

Friday 10 January 2014

 

Government Accused of 'social engineering' over it WW1 plans

 

The Government is hit by another row overits plans for the First World War centenary, amid accusations that it is "whitewashing" the contributions of Australians and New Zealanders, in favour of those of black and Asian servicemen

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/10561430/Government-accused-of-social-engineering-over-WW1-plans.html

 

BillB

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The root of the thesis is that for most of the people that wrote about the horrors of the W Front their experience (or the experience of their friends) had been totally alien and entirely different to anything in their previous experience. Compounded by the fact that the average infantry soldier knew little about what was happening more that a couple of hundred yards away. In contrast the industrial working class was used to living and working conditions that were far closer to those on the W Front, and the latter had some upsides.

 

I do suggest you read the original article.

It it available online, Nigel?

 

BillB

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Well in their defence, technically AS/NZ units didn't participate in any notable actions outside the Pacific until 1915.

 

Besides, when the Hun can enter Britain seamlessly as 'European citizens' but Australians and new Zealanders have to line up as aliens, it gets driven home that the world had moved on.

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"Today, war commemorations are too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Tory and Lib Dem infiltration, indoctrination, subversion and the international Political correctness conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!"

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"Today, war commemorations are too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Tory and Lib Dem infiltration, indoctrination, subversion and the international Political correctness conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!"

 

Indeed, and may I also note they were worried about a mine-shaft gap even during the Great War!

 

http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/messines.htm

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Australia has always tightly controlled the entry of all non-Australians (except New Zealanders), all require visas (sauce, goose, etc). I assume the members of RAF sqns and BPF sailors did not need them in WW2.

 

I'm always amused by Australians who lack the foresight to have an EU passport (and there are millions eligible) whinging about needing a visa to get into UK.

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It's hardly whinging that as someone who has sworn an oath to defend The Queen up to the value of my life as did many before me are lumped in the same line as a citizen from Iraq or Afghanistan (or worse, America!) while Hermann from Dusseldorff strolls past as a "citizen".

 

And pledging allegiance to a foreign power isn't something to be taken lightly, even if I was eligible for it (which I'm not).

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She's the queen of Australia, & would continue to be your queen even if the UK became a republic. Sharing a monarch doesn't make us the same country. There's a long history of separate countries having the same monarch, without that giving the citizens of those countries a different status from other outsiders in the monarch's other realms.

 

 

And Hermann from Dusseldorf isn't a citizen here. He can't vote in our national elections or constitutional referenda, he can't stand for Parliament, or exercise all the other rights of a citizen. He has limited rights, less than those of a citizen, & some of them are dependent on us having reciprocal rights in Dusseldorf - which we don't have in Australia, & haven't had automatically since 1949, under Australian citizenship law. When that law was passed, the UK actually gave some people born of Australian parents or married to Australians citizenship more readily than Australian law did.

 

And while you may have to wait in the same queue as someone from Iraq or wherever sometimes, you have more rights here than they do. The Commonwealth still makes a difference. Live here & you can vote & stand for office, which Hermann can't.

 

So stop bloody whinging.

Edited by swerve
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I'm always amused by Australians who lack the foresight to have an EU passport (and there are millions eligible) whinging about needing a visa to get into UK.

I've been to Australia. I needed a visa.

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