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Old 31 July 2017, 04:14
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"Good God, did we really send men to fight in that?"

It's the centenary of Passchendaele, also known as Third Battle of Ypres. IMO, the most futile battle of a war known for callous futility. 100 yrs later and we still callously repeat the same thing, only harder, hoping for some different outcome. 100 years ago, they didn't have any other options. S/F....Ken M

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Old 31 July 2017, 08:49
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Dan Carlin's Blueprint for Armageddon is an amazing podcast if you're into history of the wwi. He paints a dire picture of what our troops faced, day after day...really ugly stuff.

http://www.dancarlin.com/product/har...-armageddon-i/
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Old 31 July 2017, 09:34
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WWI was brutal. Pure war crimes IMO by commanders who just literally ordered their men in to machine gun fire. Men just chewed up into hamburger, for nothing. A worthless war. The more I understand and read, the older I get, I realize that so many wars we have fought in have just been absurd, and the rich, the leaders, the powerful throwing away young men;s lives. WWI was just evil manifesting in it's most brutal way.


Good book to read:

Into the Silence.
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Old 31 July 2017, 10:07
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WWI, and in particular Gallipoli (IMO) was pure evil concocted by idiot leadership and foisted on innocent troops.

The mechanization of warfare at it's worst.

The machine-gun was to be described by Major-General JFC Fuller as "concentrated essence of infantry", by which he meant his readers to grasp that its invention put into the hands of one man the firepower formerly wielded by forty. A good rifleman could fire only 15 shots a minute to a machine-gunner's 600. But, as Fuller would no doubt have conceded if taxed, a machine-gun team did not simply represent the equivalent of so many infantrymen compressed into a small compass. Infantrymen, however well-trained and well-armed, however resolute, however ready to kill, remain erratic agents of death. Unless centrally directed, they will choose, perhaps badly, their own targets, will open and cease fire individually, will be put off their aim by the enemy's return fire, will be distracted by the wounding of those near them, will yield to fear or excitement, will fire high, low or wide.

The second bold part has been a favorite of mine for many decades now. True as all hell if training and experience levels are low.
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Old 31 July 2017, 20:06
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I'm not surprised the French soldiers mutinied, I'm just surprised it took them so long to do so.
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Old 31 July 2017, 21:25
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I have a lot of books on WWI and am fascinated by the things pointed out in this thread - how it was just throwing bodies into bullets, for no real gain at all.

One of the best movies that I think really captured the horror of it (and is a good movie as well) is "A Very Long Engagement" - some truly brutal scenes that can barely even scratch the surface of the sheer hell it must have been to have served on the front.
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Old 28 August 2017, 10:11
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World War I gets a very bad reputation in an undeserved form. You just need to take a very difficult look into what the world would have looked like if this was not fought. Every war starts with the men fighting the last war. Technology advanced incredibly fast and it was what created the United States of today. We in essence came out of this war as the leader of the free world. Not World War Two.

One needs to really study Germanys war aims in The Great War and the thread that lead them into the Second World War. World War I was inevitable and no one had the singular ability to stop it.
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Old 28 August 2017, 11:28
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We in essence came out of this war as the leader of the free world. Not World War Two.
I'm going to quibble with you a bit.

WWI Set the stage and was the foundation for the US taking the role it did, but we were not "the" leader by a long shot. It's sort of the same way as my philosophy that the turning point of the Pacific Theater of the war was Pearl Harbor and not Midway - Japan lost the war as soon as they started it with us. But the mass and momentum wasn't on our side until after Midway and Guadalcanal.

Great Britain, France, and Germany weren't as shattered after WWI as they were in WWII, and there was still a big isolationist culture in the US that was pushing us away from taking center stage.

In hindsight we can say it was inevitable and that WWI was a large part of the reason, but at the time there was still a lot of resistance externally and internally.
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Old 28 August 2017, 12:39
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Here's a story about one of the tank crews from that battle. They spent 72 hours stuck in their disabled tank.

Quote:
Today (21 AUG), to mark the centenary of their incredible story, a full-sized replica of the tank will be driven to the exact spot of Belgian countryside where it became stranded in 1914, and manned for 72 hours straight.
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Old 5 September 2017, 20:29
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I did quite a bit of research into WW1 for a novel, truly horrific...and the men talking about the 'corpse rats' munching on the bodies, amid the muck and mire...knowing another charge into a hail of gun fire was always coming. As to the US becoming the dominate world power, WW1 opened the door to our industrial revolution and got the ball rolling. WW2 cemented our role...but that is my opinion.
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Old 15 September 2017, 09:03
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Fortunately, it marked the end of the Napoleonic-style war with complete disregard for human life
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Old 15 September 2017, 09:12
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^^^ only the first part about Napoleonic-style would be correct, IMO. The part about complete disregard for human life is about as incorrect as can be: the industrialized human meat-grinder was going full cyclic during WWI, and the brass could care less about the casualty rates if it got them a 100 meter advance on the pinboard at HQ.
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Old 16 September 2017, 13:11
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Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
^^^ only the first part about Napoleonic-style would be correct, IMO. The part about complete disregard for human life is about as incorrect as can be: the industrialized human meat-grinder was going full cyclic during WWI, and the brass could care less about the casualty rates if it got them a 100 meter advance on the pinboard at HQ.
That's what I wanted to say!
I didn't expressed myself right!I meant that WW1 WAS the last Napoleonic-style war with complete disregard for human life.
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Old 15 September 2017, 11:51
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A few tidbits I used in a scene or two...The soldiers returning from WW1 that were suffering from shell shock (PTSD) were given crafts to do as a therapy method, more often than not it was basket weaving--hence the term "Basket Case" as a way of describing insanity.

Over the Top--in our times means something good, excellent or high quality. In WW1, well...
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Old 15 September 2017, 13:02
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A few tidbits I used in a scene or two...The soldiers returning from WW1 that were suffering from shell shock (PTSD) were given crafts to do as a therapy method, more often than not it was basket weaving--hence the term "Basket Case" as a way of describing insanity.

Over the Top--in our times means something good, excellent or high quality. In WW1, well...
Horrible way to wage war!

My wife wrote the definition of PTSD for DSM lll.

As a young Psychiatrist she was asked to take care of severely burned individuals, which she did in her spare time. One of whom was a lineman, who required amputation of his right arm and leg. An aspect of her work was to counsel patients prior to discharge eg when they could look at their severely scarred face in a mirror. She asked the lineman if he had a two story house, and where the bedroom was. When he said "upstairs," she replied "how will you get there?" He replied, "I guess I'll just have to slither up and down." Her definition was based on her experiences during that time.

It takes courage to be a doctor too. Nancy has spent her entire life helping people.
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Old 15 September 2017, 16:57
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God Bless your wife...I've seen a couple lineman/tree trimmers make direct contact, I don't think you ever get that smell out of your nose.
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Old 11 January 2018, 12:34
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God Bless your wife...I've seen a couple lineman/tree trimmers make direct contact, I don't think you ever get that smell out of your nose.

There is no worse smell seared into the brain then burned or scorched flesh and a close second is rotting bloated bodies.

Something that is never forgotten and can take you strait back in a millisecond with one whiff of something similar in the air.
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Old 11 January 2018, 15:04
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There is no worse smell seared into the brain then burned or scorched flesh and a close second is rotting bloated bodies.

Something that is never forgotten and can take you strait back in a millisecond with one whiff of something similar in the air.
Sen and smelled both, I'm gonna go w/ rotting bloated bodies by a nose The brutality endured by these men is hard to imagine.
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Old 16 September 2017, 14:18
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My paternal grandfather was gassed at Ypres. He was a horse drawn ambulance driver who also broke horses for the cavalry. Lied about his age and joined up at around 15. RIP my mentor.
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Old 17 September 2017, 17:02
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Lots of different perspectives on WWI. IMO, the futility of the war demonstrated why many of those royals and nation states were out of touch. The general discontent on the socio-political systems of the time gave way to the growth of classic liberalism/capitalism, fascism, and communism fights of the 20th century, which were on the rise with early signs of the colonial order collapsing. Heck, both communism and fascism were incubated early in the heart of Europe as movements against the aristocratic class.

One of many perspectives is that it was a royal pissing match (pun intended) and family feud of epic proportions. The Kaiser was eldest of Britain's Queen Victoria's grandchildren and one of her pallbearers. Major European families were all wed among each other pretty tightly. Major actors such as Britain's King George, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicolas II were all first cousins and knew each other. The British royals had to drop their German surname and replace it with the house of Windsor as we know it today. The war literally killed off kin, related by blood, and is another classic prisoner's dilemma situation. Inability to work their own problems out resulted in most losing all. Besides Britain and a few smaller European nations, the traditional aristocratic system just got wiped out in Europe.

Was some conflict inevitable - probably. Who knows, but using good men as sheer cannon fodder in an aristocratic war of that magnitude is just horrible. Loyalties don't hang around long after one see's the elite taking that dedication for granted, IMO.
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