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Old 29th January 2013, 06:17 PM   #121
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The Germans didn't realize how much they were in the catbird seat either. If they hd realized the extent of further damage they could have done, no smart Admiral would have pulled back.
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Old 29th January 2013, 06:33 PM   #122
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In the Iran Iraq war I read a news clipping of a huge front lined with bodies and the conscription of children because all the young men had already died. Death toll, 700,000.

"All Quiet on the Western Front" is an incredible portrayal of the trench warfare in WWI.
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Old 29th January 2013, 06:37 PM   #123
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20th Century death tolls larger than 300,000 but fewer than 1 million people.

20th Century death tolls larger than one million but fewer than 5 million people.

Events that probably killed more than 5 million apiece.[quote]First World War (1914-18): 15,000,000[/url]

It's incomprehensible.
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Old 29th January 2013, 06:42 PM   #124
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[quote=Skeptic Ginger;8954192]20th Century death tolls larger than 300,000 but fewer than 1 million people.

20th Century death tolls larger than one million but fewer than 5 million people.

Events that probably killed more than 5 million apiece.

This tells us a terrible story, the Russians just didn't value the lives of their people very much in the 20th century.

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Old 29th January 2013, 06:50 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
The Royal Newfoundland Regiment suffered similarly at Beaument Hamel July 1, 1916.

780 troops started the attack (22 officers and 758 NCOs and men) and after the attack there were only 110 NCOs and men uninjured (all the officers were either dead or wounded). Given Newfoundland's population at the time (240,000) this was a significant loss for the Dominion.

It also lead to a lot of resentment in Newfoundland after they joined Canada in 1949 - as Beaument-Hamel falls on the same date as Canada Day.
As did the Australians at Pozieres. The initial attack by the 1st Division was a pretty good success by the standards of The Somme, but the Germans then concentrated everything they had in the area on the town, leaving the Australians after their counter attacks largely unmoved but instead of holding proper trenches they now mostly owned shell craters. The 1st division was relieved after 4 days and 5,285 casualties. The second, which took over, then launched a spectacularly ill-planned attack which failed on pretty well all levels, and which led to them suffering 6,848 casualties in 12 days, including a point where the Germans, unusually, simply used their artillery to attempt to blow the Australians off the map without any infantry advance following.

Overall, in 6 weeks at Pozieres the Australians lost more men then we had during the whole of the Gallipoli campaign.
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Old 29th January 2013, 07:09 PM   #126
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While the Russian Army had a very poor start, let us remember it was they who effectively knocked Austria-Hungaria out of the war. They also did quite a number on the Turks as well, something England certainly could not pull off.

By reducing AH, they in many ways helped the Allies survive - the whole 'shackled to a corpse' thing happened after the Bursilov offenses.

They were pretty much bested by the Germans at almost every engagement, but its not like the French & Brits were winning them all, either.
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Old 29th January 2013, 07:34 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This tells us a terrible story, the Russians just didn't value the lives of their people very much in the 20th century.
What do you base such bigoted ideas on?
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Old 29th January 2013, 07:38 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
While the Russian Army had a very poor start, let us remember it was they who effectively knocked Austria-Hungaria out of the war. They also did quite a number on the Turks as well, something England certainly could not pull off.

By reducing AH, they in many ways helped the Allies survive - the whole 'shackled to a corpse' thing happened after the Bursilov offenses.

They were pretty much bested by the Germans at almost every engagement, but its not like the French & Brits were winning them all, either.
Apparently you missed the whole Sinai and Palestine Campaign. Not sure how you could miss that, given its modern ramifications for the Middle-East.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinai_a...stine_campaign
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Old 29th January 2013, 07:38 PM   #129
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I meant the Russian leadership btw


but I am basing it on how if you look at how the Russians waged war (basically just sending people to the grinder as they knew they had the numbers to outlast an attacking army) and you look at Stalin's Purges. and the way the Tsar treated his people, that it sure doesn't appear that they cared much about their people. (they are on that 5mill or more list a bunch of times!!!)


why are you seething and jumping right to crappy attack words like "bigoted?"
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Old 29th January 2013, 08:40 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Exactly. Several Historians think that Churchill's basis strategy of sending a naval force to Constantinople was workable,but was messed up in the execution.
IMHO You cannot blame Chuchill for the fiasco that was the landing at Gallipoli since early on the Army pretty much took over the planning once landings were considerin necessary. One of the great tragedies of the war is that from all accounts the first attempt to force the Straits by naval forces alone was very very near sucess when the admiral, upset by a couple of losses due to mines, basically abandoned the whole operation. One of the problems with Navies is that early on in the war, they seem releuctant to admit that you are not going to win a war at sea without naval losses.


The reality is that the army didn't want to do it, so they provided the most laughably incompetent leaders they could possibly find. The British landing at Y Beach was a perfect example of how much of a fiasco the entire operation was. Had the British command actually committed to it, it had every possibility of success.
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Old 29th January 2013, 08:42 PM   #131
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I actually watched the episode involving Gallipoli twice to take it all in. I can't understand why they didn't send more troops to the narrows as they could have cut off reinforcements and attacked the forces on the peninsula from two sides.

it seemed really poorly planned AND executed.
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Old 29th January 2013, 08:53 PM   #132
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In the "Thanks for nothing!" category I would like to nominate the Romanian entry into the war on the Allies side.
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Old 29th January 2013, 08:54 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
As did the Australians at Pozieres. The initial attack by the 1st Division was a pretty good success by the standards of The Somme, but the Germans then concentrated everything they had in the area on the town, leaving the Australians after their counter attacks largely unmoved but instead of holding proper trenches they now mostly owned shell craters. The 1st division was relieved after 4 days and 5,285 casualties. The second, which took over, then launched a spectacularly ill-planned attack which failed on pretty well all levels, and which led to them suffering 6,848 casualties in 12 days, including a point where the Germans, unusually, simply used their artillery to attempt to blow the Australians off the map without any infantry advance following.

Overall, in 6 weeks at Pozieres the Australians lost more men then we had during the whole of the Gallipoli campaign.

I can understand why Gallipoli is so important in New Zealand and Australia, but it does infuriate me somewhat that our efforts on the Western Front are as a result virtually ignored. Both countries suffered vastly more casualties on the Western Front than in Gallipoli. Both countries also performed vastly better, which makes it something of a double insult to WWI veterans to ignore those efforts.

I look forward to the day that the "Imperialist Britain" heartlessly ordering hapless Dominion troops into massacres is finally put to bed, and people recognise that the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand forces in particular often got the hardest missions because they were regarded as amongst the best troops.
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Old 29th January 2013, 08:58 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
I actually watched the episode involving Gallipoli twice to take it all in. I can't understand why they didn't send more troops to the narrows as they could have cut off reinforcements and attacked the forces on the peninsula from two sides.

That was the plan (the ANZACs were meant to cross the peninsula and cut off the Turkish lines of resupply) but the ANZACs were landed in the wrong place and the British farted about for so long after trying to force the channel by navy alone that the Turks had plenty of warning, and managed to provide decent resupply, so the ANZACs ended up facing much stiffer opposition than anticipated. This was further exacerbated by the woeful excuse for fire support from the Royal Navy, whose major achievement during the campaign was to annihilate the NZ forces that finally managed to capture Chunuk Bair after countless bloody assaults.
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Old 29th January 2013, 09:01 PM   #135
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I don't think they had enough troops to do the job initially and were not reinforced as they should have been when they landed. i think if you reverse the troop levels from the two landing areas, it might have ended better.

It wasn't executed worth a damn.
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Old 30th January 2013, 12:51 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
What was a tactical victory was the raid on the North East Coast, German ships sailed close inshore and bombarded coastal towns, escaping before they were intercepted.

Which one? IMO none of these can be called a success. Sure they smashed up aunt Becky's B&B but thats not going to win the war. And they cost the Germans quite a bit -

Yarmouth raid - 1 armoured cruiser
Scarborough raid - 3 damaged cruisers, a de facto war crime and a propaganda coup for the British
Dogger bank - Blucher sunk, Seydlitz heavy damage
Yarmouth & Lowestoft - 1 cruiser damaged and 2 submarines sunk
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Old 30th January 2013, 01:16 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I can understand why Gallipoli is so important in New Zealand and Australia, but it does infuriate me somewhat that our efforts on the Western Front are as a result virtually ignored. Both countries suffered vastly more casualties on the Western Front than in Gallipoli. Both countries also performed vastly better, which makes it something of a double insult to WWI veterans to ignore those efforts.

I look forward to the day that the "Imperialist Britain" heartlessly ordering hapless Dominion troops into massacres is finally put to bed, and people recognise that the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand forces in particular often got the hardest missions because they were regarded as amongst the best troops.
This has got better in recent years, at least in Australia. Fromelles has been attracting a lot of coverage since the mass grave was found there, and there is now an annual nationally televised dawn service from the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. Still, most would struggle to place Bullecourt or Messines Ridge on a map.

This isn't unique to WW1 though. Almost any Australian could at least give you the broad strokes of Kokoda or Tobruk, but good luck finding any who have heard of Milne Bay or 2nd El Alamein.
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Old 30th January 2013, 02:16 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
What exactly should have been learned?
Buller had come to the conclusion, as had some of his junior officers, just prior to Spion Kop, that advancing on enemy positions by batallions across open ground was not a Good Thing. Suppression was very important, but had been pushed aside in favour of the concept of morale winning out over materiel. Spion Kop highlighted this and, had a couple of key mistakes not been made, could easily have resulted in a victory.

There was also the note that artillery was rather exposed, and deploying it in the open left them vulnerable to enemy rifle fire. They were to still be deployed in the open come 1914.

Of course it wasn't, and Buller was sidelined. It was to be the likes of Kitchener and Roberts who would define how we fought come WW1. And I don't use their names to say they wrote the manuals, but their influence on who got to write the manuals.
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Old 30th January 2013, 02:20 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
A hundred years of hearing about Nelson meant that any result short of a brilliant victory was going to leave Jellicoe open to abuse. Unfair but I'm not sure if it was avoidable.

As the RN couldn't win the war but could definitely lose it... he achieved what was needed.
If he hadn't been sacked we would have starved. His attitude to the UBoat campaign, and the deployment of destroyers as escorts for convoys, was criminal, frankly.

He was unfairly pilloried for Jutland (and Churchill was an arse), but his sacking was entirely fair.
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Old 30th January 2013, 02:44 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Thoft undahbelleee!
Only if the underbelly was all mountain ranges...he'd clearly never looked at a topographical map of the European Mediterranean countries.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:21 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
I've been tinkering on a WW1-based script for some time now, centered around the Xmas Truce and the battle of NC. I'm a firm believer that centuries don't begin and end neatly at the turn of the next XX00 year, but that they have their own character (the 19th century beginning with the 1789 and ending with World War One, for instance).

I argue that the last gasp of the 19th century was the 1914 Xmas Truce - it certainly wasn't repeated in 1915. Something changed between those two holidays, and I think it was a combination of realizing that this was going to take a lot longer than originally thought, and based on the casualties in the push to capture Aubers Ridge (I'm basing the latter on Vera Brittain's war diary entry on the subject).
Hobsbawm called it the long 19th century (and he wasn't unique, he's just the one I know). He ran it from 1789 to 1914.

WW1 was the catalyst for a lot of change. Europe was a very different place by 1919, and I'm not talking about the borders on maps, but the social structures. Britain was changed, for example in the attitude to jobs women could do, even though there were attempts to put it all back to the way it was. And of course the Russian Empire was swept away (sort of).
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:21 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
The Germans didn't realize how much they were in the catbird seat either. If they had realized the extent of further damage they could have done, no smart Admiral would have pulled back.
He would have lost his Battlefleet. The British Line had 'crossed his T' almost perfectly his only option was to turn away, as it was he just managed to turn away without too much damage. RN ships had trained in night fighting and it was only luck that the Germans managed to slip away.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:44 AM   #143
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That's not what The Great War stated. That documentary (as well as The First World War one ) both make the argument that the Germans had a distinct advantage that they blew by sailing back to their ports. Not that they could have outright won the battle, but that they could have done much more significant damage to the British fleet and still escaped.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:47 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
He would have lost his Battlefleet. The British Line had 'crossed his T' almost perfectly his only option was to turn away, as it was he just managed to turn away without too much damage. RN ships had trained in night fighting and it was only luck that the Germans managed to slip away.
Yes until that moment Scheer had done alright, not having made too many mistakes.

Only after having gotten clear away from the Grand Fleet he turned around again immediately! Most likely in an attempt to get behind the Grand Fleet, seeing as it was between the Hochseeflotte and it's base. Unfortunately the new course was a bit more southerly then the earlier one and Scheer only managed to set the Grand Fleet up for another perfect 'T crossing'. And this time his fleet really got hammered!
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:47 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
If you use Google Maps satellite imagery and search the area around Ypres, Belgum you will find hundreds of nearly perfectly round "ponds" that are the craters left over from these minings. Some are quite large.
Yes, for example Trench 121 http://www.wo1.be/eng/database/dbDet...mID=6283&lID=3 only went off in 1955, luckily killing only a cow.

Local farmers are still regularly digging up old artillery munition too, or they freeze out of the soil in the winter. They collect them and put them at fixed locations, where the military collects them now and then. It includes chemical munition as well. Sometimes they still make victims. This is nearly 100 years later. It always impressed me, giving an indication how large this war must have been.

Interesting link about the left over munition (sorry, in Dutch): http://nl.milpedia.org/wiki/Blindgan...elaten_munitie and Google translated: http://translate.google.be/translate...unitie&act=url
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:47 AM   #146
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Great forgotten fronts in WWI, the Italian campaign:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian...n_(World_War_I)

Ridiculous loss of life, harsh fighting conditions, especially in the Alps, and hardly anyone has heard of it.

It also puts the lie to the impression that the Italians are all cowards.
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Old 30th January 2013, 05:02 AM   #147
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I spent a week on the Somme a couple of years ago and am going back later this year. It's certainly a sobering experience - to see the rows and rows of gravestones in dozens of cemetaries in such a small area is very moving. The number of 'known unto god' headstones is very sad (even as an athiest, I rather like the expression). The memorial at Thiepval list over 72,000 casualties who have no known grave. I believe that the number of 'unknown' graves is about 35,000, so about the same number of British/ Commonwealth dead were never recovered.

It is still perfectly normal to see piles of shells left by farmers who have dug them up in fields, awaiting collection by the army. We found numerous bullets and several shell cases, and my son found an unexploded grenade, which we left well alone.
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Old 30th January 2013, 06:32 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
That's not what The Great War stated. That documentary (as well as The First World War one ) both make the argument that the Germans had a distinct advantage that they blew by sailing back to their ports. Not that they could have outright won the battle, but that they could have done much more significant damage to the British fleet and still escaped.
The German Battlecruisers had the upper hand early on over Beatty. Not surprising since Beatty was a borderline incompetent.

Judged by main calibre hits, it was level pegging until 19:00 though hits on the Germans were concentrated on fewer ships, while German shells were more effective.

After that it was all one way traffic. The Germans sustained around 50 main caliber hits without a single main caliber hit in reply. Scheer was running for his life.
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Old 30th January 2013, 06:36 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
But Americans were amateurs, you see. We didn't know anything about war, let alone enough to tell the masters in Europe how to go about it!

If you look at photos of Petersburg during the siege it's not hard to picture Mausers or Enfields instead of muskets in those trenches.
From what I have read, in 1863, Petersburg, Va, was the most heavily fortified city on Earth.
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:10 AM   #150
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Oh, and for a bit of a laugh:
http://angusmcleod.deviantart.com/ar...sion-128505446
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:19 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
In the "Thanks for nothing!" category I would like to nominate the Romanian entry into the war on the Allies side.
QFT. Had they known that from that point until the war ended was not enough time for milk in a fridge to spoil they would have (rightly) told Bucharest to pound sand.
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:24 AM   #152
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That was great! pretty accurate in a silly ,loose kinda way too!
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Old 30th January 2013, 09:04 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
QFT. Had they known that from that point until the war ended was not enough time for milk in a fridge to spoil they would have (rightly) told Bucharest to pound sand.
Well, 2 years is half the war.
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Old 30th January 2013, 10:21 AM   #154
Giz
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Well, 2 years is half the war.
Not if you're Romania!
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Old 30th January 2013, 10:30 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Not if you're Romania!
OK, 2 years of occupation by Austrians/Hungarians/Bulgarians and Germans.

Of course I could have misread what Polaris meant...
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Old 30th January 2013, 10:46 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Not if you're Romania!
Or the US
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Old 30th January 2013, 11:18 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by lauwersw View Post

Local farmers are still regularly digging up old artillery munition too, or they freeze out of the soil in the winter. They collect them and put them at fixed locations, where the military collects them now and then. It includes chemical munition as well. Sometimes they still make victims. This is nearly 100 years later. It always impressed me, giving an indication how large this war must have been.
My son found this on the Somme - we left it where we found it!!!



these were left by the side of the road

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Old 30th January 2013, 11:24 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
That was actually at Vauquois.
Fascinating place, just west from the Verdun Battlefield. Posterchild of a battle dynamic taking a life of it's own.
In the end and after 519 underground explosions (an average of two every week!) the Butte (hill) of Vauquois was split completely in two.
Thanks for the link, that was the subject of the documentary I saw.
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Old 30th January 2013, 01:29 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
What I find so remarkable about WW1 was how it was much more defensive of a war than I had thought. The western front was pretty much this strategy over and over:

sit in trench for 3 months, fortifying and stabilizing

have terrifying battle for 3 months

move approximately 3 miles in one direction or another for a limited amount of time

be driven back to your original trench

wash ,rinse,repeat


well, after the initial German push anyway.

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Old 30th January 2013, 01:35 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
OK, 2 years of occupation by Austrians/Hungarians/Bulgarians and Germans.

Of course I could have misread what Polaris meant...
No, you read it right, I think I misremembered. It's been 13 years since I took a (excellent) course on WW1.
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