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Well, I figure it's late enough at night for anybody in Europe who'd remembered it to have mentioned it by now. 1 July 1916, the 1st day of the Somme. I drink to their shades. :drinks:

Edited by Bullethead

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.

 

I have a rendezvous with Death

At some disputed barricade,

When Spring comes back with rustling shade

And apple-blossoms fill the air--

I have a rendezvous with Death

When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

 

 

(written, prophetically, by Alan Seeger, who died on July 1st, 1916, going over the top at the Somme)

 

I too join you BH, and toast to the spirits of those departed warriors. :drinks:

 

.

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Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march

Long way from home, paying the price in young mens lives

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair

Knee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out

 

Thousands of machine guns

Get on firing through the night

Mortars placed and wreck the scene

Guns the fields that once were green

Still a dead-lock at the front line

Where the soldiers die in mud

Rosen, houses since long gone

Still no glory has been won

 

Know that many men has suffered

Know that many men has died

Six miles of ground has been won

Half a million men are gone

And as the men crawl the general call and the killing carry on

I long what was the purpose of it all

What's the price of a mile

 

Todays drinks are to you, brave Soldiers!

Edited by JonathanRL

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What's perhaps even more tragic about the Battle of the Somme is the fact that many people (not here obviously), if they have heard of the battle in the first place, seem to believe that July 1st, 1916 was the battle, and when that day's massacre was over, nothing worth mentioning happened later. And yet the fighting went on until November, 1916. Combined Entente and German casualties were over one million men.

 

Edit: British tactics were awful at first, but their inexperienced "citizen army" did learn quickly and battle was good preparation for the future, when the day came to start pushing the German armies back. Germans lost a lot of their best, experienced troops while defending (they could ill afford such losses with their smaller reserves and resources), and the offensive at Somme helped the French armies fighting at Verdun by forcing Germans to concentrate their men elsewhere. But the price was terrible for everybody involved.

Edited by Hasse Wind

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And yet the fighting went on until November, 1916.

 

December even.

 

Edit: British tactics were awful at first, but their inexperienced "citizen army" did learn quickly and battle was good preparation for the future, when the day came to start pushing the German armies back.

 

Don't forget the Tank Corps' debut happened in at the Somme and they did pretty well, considering the tanks they had were built of boiler plate, not armor, and intended only for training until the real tanks came out later. One of these vehicles, the "Flying Scotsman", still bearing the scars of battle, is in the Tank Museum at Bovington Camp.

 

OTOH, there was also the cavalry charge on High Wood, a repetition of Balaclava. The grunts on the scene reported they'd broken through (which was true) so were told to stop and let the cavalry come up to exploit the breakthrough. But by the time the horsemen had negotiated the shell-torn morass to the new front line, the last German reserves anywhere near had been able to get there first, so it was MGs to the left of them, MGs to the right of them, MGs in front of them, vollied and thundered.

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Well, I figure it's late enough at night for anybody in Europe who'd remembered it to have mentioned it by now. 1 July 1916, the 1st day of the Somme. I drink to their shades. :drinks:

After reading Martin Middlebrook's "First day at the Somme", I remembered every 1st of July.

A real bloodshed. Lions led by donkeys.

Edited by Von Paulus

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Kubrick's film "Paths of Glory" comes to my mind there.

Actually, Olham, "Paths of Glory" reminds me more Chemin des Dames. But it's true, the arrogance of stupidity its the same one.

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