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Old 07-15-2016, 06:18 AM   #1801
haroldeye
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Scounds - Churchill is a victim of the fine old hard left habit of repeating lies long and hard enough until people know for certain that they are the truth. I believed it too until we had a massive debate on Churchill in these august threads.

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/reso...sh-coal-miners

In Rupert's quote Churchill would seem to be advocating the use of tear gas (boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas). He then went on to say; I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected." Which seems to me that he was suggesting tear gas would have the right effect without killing people.

In the 20's and 30's Churchill was not only fiercly anti Nazi but also fiercly anti communist. The hard left needed to blacken his name as much as possible, hence the slander.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:23 PM   #1802
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Originally Posted by haroldeye View Post
Thanks for the info harold. I honestly didn't know that we had used poison gas in WWI. And banquo is right too, we used chemicals in Vietnam, but they weren't weaponized.
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:00 AM   #1803
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I know this is the WWI forum but I can't let this statement go uncommented on.
I view the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam was as a major crime against the planet. They created a desert and didn't even get to peace...
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:28 PM   #1804
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Originally Posted by tygrkhat40 View Post
Thanks for the info harold. I honestly didn't know that we had used poison gas in WWI. And banquo is right too, we used chemicals in Vietnam, but they weren't weaponized.
Napalm and Agent Orange weren't weaponized? That is sooooo comforting...
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:19 PM   #1805
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Red face Tanks For Russia Week: the Prequel



This is a British Mark Five tank of a type which saw service in the last months of the First World War. With a lengthened chassis it was able to straddle German trenches on the Hindenberg Line, which had been built to be over ten feet wide specifically to thwart the British tanks. Ultimately you can always widen a trench but when it gets wide enough it is wide enough for artillery and mortars to hit the men in it as well and for aircraft to bomb and strafe it. Despite being bigger and longer the Mark Five was much easier to steer; one man could drive it without assistance and thus the others could concentrate on using the guns.

This particular tank was in Archangel in the Russian arctic in 2006 and I presume it is still there. It is a "female" type equipped as a machine gun carrier only, intended for close infantry support. Six of these tanks were sent by the British government in July 1919 to defend the port area of Tallinn and supposedly train anti Bolshevik White Russian forces. But by July 1919 the Civil War was already turning against the anti-Bolshevik forces in this region.

The British were in an international force which included 8,000 Americans, mostly USMC, about 2,000 French, and 1,000 or so from various other countries. The British component was only two battalions, which would be roughly 1,200 men, but there were 14 other battalions from the Commonwealth, mainly Canada and Australia. That would have been about the same size collectively as the American component. Most of these men were in Archangel but the British had a strong naval squadron in the Gulf of Finland and and the tanks went to Tallinn to defend the port area.

Six tanks were never going to be enough to make the slightest difference and in fact the Bolshevik resistance, initially rather weak, was much tougher by mid-1919. A number of British attacks around the village of Koikori, which is in Russian Karelia, just north and west of Lake Onega, had been repulsed with heavy losses, including senior officers. It was not long before the British public turned against this campaign. No one could offer a good enough explanation for what the Allies were doing there and why it was worth the losses so soon after the grand guignol of the Great War. So the tanks were abandoned and the Allied force left with no backward glances: they were not glad to be there and there had been a lot of unrest, bordering on mutiny, arising from their strong sense that they should not be there and that others had put them there without asking.

The Red Army captured over fifty Mark Five British tanks in Ukraine where they had been supporting White Russian forces, and the Red Army kept them on. Despite the lack of spare parts from Britain, the last ones were not officially mothballed or scrapped until 1938. Ironically, when Russia occupied Estonia in 1939 there were four of the original six still there and still running and they fought the advancing Germans in August 1941; I have no idea how effective they were.

The Archangel tank is one of the Tallinn six.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:26 PM   #1806
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Default Switzerland




Switzerland was neutral in WW1 but being neutral had not helped Belgium. Switzerland was the point at which the Western Front had to end. The nearest Swiss town of any significance is Bonfol, in the canton of Jura. It is not mountainous as the Alpine areas of Switzerland are, but it is quite hilly and not as easily marched through as Belgium.

However the Swiss were mindful of Belgium and had no intention of being used as a side door for either side to bypass the Western Front. They did not build trenches of their own, but they did build a chain of strong points and station a large force of their militia soldiers in the area, ready to fight if their soil was violated.

The building in the foreground of the third image is a Swiss Army fortified position. The ruined building beyond it is a farmhouse on French territory, in the no man's land between the two trenches. The fence posts in between are a simple barbed wire fence and it marked the frontier.

The fourth image is from the inside of the trench system (I dont know which army's trench) and looking south. The flag marks the end of the line. It was there for the benefit of new boys so they would know not to direct their fire beyond that point.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:39 AM   #1807
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July 31 is the centenary of the beginning of the Passchendaele / Ypres offensive, which lasted three months. Possibly the last such commemoration, as time moves on. The casualties -- not to mention the conditions -- defy comprehension.

Why did everything in 3rd Ypres (as the battle is known) take place in a sea of mud?

"Haig started the offensive with a bombardment of 4.5 million shells (at a cost of 22,000,000 #'s). This spectacular release of energy provided four-and-three-quarter tons of high explosive for every yard of front. It continued for ten days. Predictably, the drains collapsed, the rains came and the ground subsided into a sea of liquid mud.
Into this sodden lunar landscape Haig launched twelve divisions."
[Norman E. Dixon, On the Psychology of Military Incompetence]
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:39 PM   #1808
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The geology in the area meant there was a very high water table. With the breakdown of the drainage systems flooding was the inevitable result. The trenches had been dug down to an impervious clay layer, so the water couldn't drain through any further. Not helped by the worse rain in 30years.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:51 PM   #1809
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By the time Haig started the offensive the land drains had been destroyed and the area was given to flooding.

August 1917 saw twice the normal monthly average of rainfall (127mm) and though September was fairly dry October saw rainfall well above average levels.

Mr Dixon said many things in his book about many people. Much of it was accurate no doubt.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:42 PM   #1810
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Default The American Monument - Islay

100 years ago the Great War was working its way steadily towards a cruel and futile end point. America had joined the conflict in April 1917 and by the start of 1918 a steady flow of trained soldiers was being shipped to Europe in order to take active part in the fighting on the Western Front.



Slightly more than 2,000 such soldiers were being carried to Europe aboard the requisitioned passenger liner SS Tuscania in February 1918. Russia had recently made a separate peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary and the German army were preparing a massive counter-offensive, so ships like the Tuscania were top priority strategic targets. Sure enough, the Tuscania was hit by two torpedoes on 5 February and sank after about two hours. Most of the crew and passengers were rescued by the naval escorts, but the prevailing tidal currents washed over 200 dead bodies onto the rocks and beaches of the inner Hebridean island of Islay.

Sadly, although rare, marine disasters on this scale are not unprecedented in the Hebrides due to the deadly nature of the coastline. The local police, all four of them, grimly catalogued every dead body and then the local people dug graves for each and every one - 267 graves.

It gets worse.



On October 6 1918, only a month to go before the end, there was a major Atlantic storm. Two ships sailing in convoy collided and one, SS Otranto, was completely disabled and flooding rapidly. The convoy abandoned her to her fate, but a small British destroyer called HMS Mounsey searched for her and located her adrift, a few miles north of Islay and drifting towards the shore. The destroyer made repeated passes down the side of the stricken liner so that men could jump onto the destroyer and be saved. In so doing, the destroyer sustained severe damage from repeated collisions with the bigger ship, but persevered until she was so overcrowded that she had no choice other than to break off and head for safety. 597 men were rescued by HMS Mounsey, including 300 American soldiers; but many more fell into the sea or were crushed between the ships when trying to jump to safety.

HMS Mounsey went to Belfast to seek shelter. But the SS Otranto continued to drift and was finished off by the Old Woman's Reef, about three quarters of a mile off-shore from the north coast of Islay. Only 19 men were able to reach shore alive, some of them gaffed out of the sea by islanders using shepherds crooks. 316 dead men were washed ashore later, but from checking survivors against the crew and passenger lists the British naval authorities calculated that the total number of dead from the final act of the wreck hitting the reef was probably 489 or close.

After the war, the American Red Cross commissioned the building of a monument on the Islay coast close to the scene of both tragedies.



Many of the dead soldiers came from the US state of Georgia and the state is planning to hold a memorial service to mark the centenary of the disaster on 6th October 2018.
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