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#4528457 - 07/02/20 09:33 PM Re: Somme ***** [Re: Sluggish Controls]  
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Originally Posted by Sluggish Controls
Hard to comprehend how the top brass could accept those numbers back then. Is it to say the elite folks were nothing more than savage baboons?
Looks like it frown

Most of you probably read Somme Mud by E P F Lynch, and if you have not, I strongly recommend it, pronto.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Somme-Mud-P-F-Lynch/dp/0553819135

Cheers,
Slug


Ages ago I was reading somewhere about acceptance of casualties in modern times vs long ago - one comment went something like "A Roman Centurion might say 'Take these thousand men. 500 don't come back? Then take the surviving 500 and 1000 more'".

Maybe WW1 "top brass" wasn't that extreme about it, but I imagine in those days they still had a lot more of that mentality than today...

I'd also imagine that both of the above mentioned periods had far more people who honestly didn't have much to live for...

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#4528486 - 07/03/20 01:56 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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NoFlyBoy Online content
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Up until after WW1, being in the military is a sign of having arrived, being Elite, and a better life. People were mostly poor back then and in the military you get housing, medical, 3 square meals which is most likely better meals and more often than they get at home.

When WW1 began, everyone ran to join the military and fight. It was an adventure and the duty for many who didn't never been farther than a few miles away from home.

Also in those days it was good for a woman to marry a military man especially if he was an officer. Usually aristocrats or noble men or men from wealthy families were made officers and many given not much training in military strategy and tactics.

After WW1, people's prior attitude about war being glamourous have changed.


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#4528493 - 07/03/20 07:43 AM Re: Somme [Re: Zamzow]  
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WhoCares Offline
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Originally Posted by Zamzow
Originally Posted by Sluggish Controls
Hard to comprehend how the top brass could accept those numbers back then. Is it to say the elite folks were nothing more than savage baboons?
Looks like it frown

Most of you probably read Somme Mud by E P F Lynch, and if you have not, I strongly recommend it, pronto.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Somme-Mud-P-F-Lynch/dp/0553819135

Cheers,
Slug


Ages ago I was reading somewhere about acceptance of casualties in modern times vs long ago - one comment went something like "A Roman Centurion might say 'Take these thousand men. 500 don't come back? Then take the surviving 500 and 1000 more'".

Maybe WW1 "top brass" wasn't that extreme about it, but I imagine in those days they still had a lot more of that mentality than today...

I'd also imagine that both of the above mentioned periods had far more people who honestly didn't have much to live for...

In many of the waring nations of WW1 there was still a significant disconnect between the ranks and the officers corps, and even more so the farther up you look, Gods and Generals and such, you know. Especially in the highest positions, Army leadership, the guys commanding the overall goings, there is also a significant political and in modern terms "networking" component, especially in the monarchies, which is why these ranks are mostly filled with aristocrats.
About the Centurion example, in WW1 they were often still very much the same, like Falkenhayn (Chief of Staff at the time) intentionally turning Verdun into a meatgrinder, with the idea to bleed the French dry...

Last edited by WhoCares; 07/03/20 07:43 AM.
#4528494 - 07/03/20 08:20 AM Re: Somme [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Roudou Online content
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy

When WW1 began, everyone ran to join the military and fight. It was an adventure and the duty for many who didn't never been farther than a few miles away from home.



You forget one thing, there was conscription in France and probably in other nations too.

#4528495 - 07/03/20 09:08 AM Re: Somme [Re: Roudou]  
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BD-123 Offline
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Naunton Beauchamp Worcestershi...
Originally Posted by Roudou
Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy

When WW1 began, everyone ran to join the military and fight. It was an adventure and the duty for many who didn't never been farther than a few miles away from home.



You forget one thing, there was conscription in France and probably in other nations too.


French menfolk had to undertake three years of obligatory service I believe. In UK the professional Regular Army was considered enough manpower to deal with Jerry, as 'it will all be over by Christmas'.

Conscription was not deemed a necessary action until January 1916, as volunteerism dropped off as the reality of this awful unprecedented slaughter became apparent, and Reserved Occupations' were narrowed down. Britain, more so than other combative nations, put women into work to release more men for service what became a war of attrition.

As NFB stated, at the start of hostilities, many joined as from a sense of adventure, escape from a humdrum existence with little prospects or poverty. The recruiting centres were initially overwhelmed with cheering crowds eager to 'take the King's Shilling'. Many of these young chaps were unfit for service, especially from the industrial conurbations due to conditions and complications often due to malnutrition, often the result of childhood illnesses. As many I would surmise as from a sense of duty, patriotism, or fear of the 'Dastardly Hun'. As NFB again states, the majority, certainly working class British citizens did not travel far from home. Even residents of adjacent towns and villages regarded each other with suspicion and alienation, so as an Island Race, one can imagine with limited education and media access, how easy it was to convince the British public of the evil intentions of a remote foreign power by propaganda portraying them as monsters.

Though the later conflict, my Father joined up in 1940 having drifted from job to job after being laid off by a Shipping Line in 1936, attracted by the fact he would be paid, fed and clothed doing what he liked best, riding motorcycles!



#4528498 - 07/03/20 09:38 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Roudou Online content
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The three years of obligatory service was (re)introduce in 1913, before that it was two years. Once the service accomplished, they stayed as a reservist till 30 years old. My oldest great grandfather born in 1890 was a reservist in 1914, and was called to active duty in August, as every frenchmen fit for service between 20 and 30. Of course, they could still be volunteer before 20 or after 30.

Edit: I made a big mistake, they were still reservists till 34 years old. And I didn't speak about the territorial army, the older men till age 45 then 49 later in the war. The territorial army was not intended to be on the front line, but yeah, war...

Last edited by Roudou; 07/03/20 09:55 AM.
#4528503 - 07/03/20 10:23 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Ice Cold in Alex or Eating in ...
My maternal grandfather's brother William was wounded during WW1 by a German bayonet which caught him in the upper left arm, you could see the entry and exit of it, he was captured and spent the rest of the war as a POW, I cannot remember when or where it happened, he was telling me a little about it while we played chess one day in the back garden, mum later confirmed that it was true.

My father's cousin George was wounded and captured in Italy during WW2
This is him with the X above his head, where or what they are doing I don't know.
[Linked Image]

Edit: According to the war records he was wounded and captured in Greece and then shipped to Stalag XVIII-A and the above photo is from 18 Jan 1942 in the POW camp.

Last edited by Alicatt; 07/03/20 10:39 AM. Reason: Just found out more details.

Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4528506 - 07/03/20 10:58 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Ice Cold in Alex or Eating in ...
I do remember him saying that he was reported as missing/killed in action.

First Name: G K
Surname: Bisset
Incident Details: Reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09.00am.
Incident Date: 05/09/1945
Information: Casualty List No. 1850. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 581 as Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Middle East – Greece.
Rank: Sapper
Service Number: 1920974
Service: British Army
Regiment: Royal Engineers


First Name: G K
Surname: Bisset
Resided Town: Stalag 18a, Wolfsberg (Karnten)
Nationality: British
Resided Country: Austria
Fate: Prisoner of War
Information: POW No. 3576
Further Information: Record Office No. 9
Rank: Sapper
Service Number: 1920974
Service: British Army
Regiment: Royal Engineers

First Name: G K
Surname: Bisset
Fate: Prisoner of War (Previously reported as Missing)
Incident Details: Reported to War Office Casualty Section for the 24 hours ending at 09:00.
Incident Date: 02/08/1941
Information: Casualty List No. 581. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 534 as Missing, Surname Bissett.
Rank: Sapper
Service Number: ?920974
Duty Location: Greece
Service: British Army
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Company: 708th General Construction Company
Archive Reference: WO 417/28


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4528515 - 07/03/20 12:40 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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NoFlyBoy Online content
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Remember this? Teacher told his students it was duty and honor to serve and fight and that's how it was in those days. You serve your country and sacrifice yourself for it. It was your duty. You didn't question it and if you did, you were a traitor.



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