The Somme remembrance 1st July

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Scotty

Winger
British Commanders continuously fucked it up

it was'nt so much fucked it up as the technology had advanced so quickly that the tactics (used by both sides i might add) became so outdated and hideously costly

when the tech was single action rifle fire with slow firing cannon artillery then the tactics of cross as fast as possible while staying together to bring maximum pressure to the contact point was a workable one

machine guns, barbed wire defences and quick firing artillery meant that it became a game of 'can our artillery keep their heads down so that we can get across NML quickly enough before they can respond to the attack' - hence rolling artillery bombardments.

did it take too long for the generals to realise that they were dinosaurs in a machine gun age - hell yes

were British combined ops the best in the world by 1918 - again yes, they took the best of the german stormtrooper concept, added tanks to the mix and were the top dogs at the end of the war

(then proceeded to forget all this in the interwar years - but thats for a different discussion)
 

vinegar hill

Striker
it was'nt so much fucked it up as the technology had advanced so quickly that the tactics (used by both sides i might add) became so outdated and hideously costly

when the tech was single action rifle fire with slow firing cannon artillery then the tactics of cross as fast as possible while staying together to bring maximum pressure to the contact point was a workable one

machine guns, barbed wire defences and quick firing artillery meant that it became a game of 'can our artillery keep their heads down so that we can get across NML quickly enough before they can respond to the attack' - hence rolling artillery bombardments.

did it take too long for the generals to realise that they were dinosaurs in a machine gun age - hell yes

were British combined ops the best in the world by 1918 - again yes, they took the best of the german stormtrooper concept, added tanks to the mix and were the top dogs at the end of the war


(then proceeded to forget all this in the interwar years - but thats for a different discussion)
It's something that's largely forgotten.
 

TK-421

Winger
it was'nt so much fucked it up as the technology had advanced so quickly that the tactics (used by both sides i might add) became so outdated and hideously costly

when the tech was single action rifle fire with slow firing cannon artillery then the tactics of cross as fast as possible while staying together to bring maximum pressure to the contact point was a workable one

machine guns, barbed wire defences and quick firing artillery meant that it became a game of 'can our artillery keep their heads down so that we can get across NML quickly enough before they can respond to the attack' - hence rolling artillery bombardments.

did it take too long for the generals to realise that they were dinosaurs in a machine gun age - hell yes

were British combined ops the best in the world by 1918 - again yes, they took the best of the german stormtrooper concept, added tanks to the mix and were the top dogs at the end of the war

(then proceeded to forget all this in the interwar years - but thats for a different discussion)
This is why the Somme was a disaster though. The bombardent happened Days before and when we got out of the trenches we walked across thinking there'd be nobody there. Trouble was, in order to keep to the timetable, when it became obvious the Germans were not dead and had their machine guns out, the order was not given to move quickly but to still walk at the same pace.
 

safcrhys.

Winger
Did the tour in 2010. Great experience in a respectful way. Unbelievable how many gravestones are marked "known only unto God" and those poor souls on the Theipval Monument have no grave are remains to bury at all. Also did leper which was another great experience.
Is that Ypres mate? I read a good book about Passchendaele a few months ago. Soldiers were just as likely to die from drowning in mud as being killed by the enemy.

"We died in hell, they called it Passchendaele" was one of the quotes. It's sobering to the soul.
 

TK-421

Winger
The Battle of the Somme is covered in GCSE History curriculum. Or it least it was 10 years ago. I'd imagine it still is.
I can't remember doing the Somme specifically at GCSE 5 or 6 years ago. More just about how the war started and the von Schliffen (sp?) plan, and then the after math with the League of Nations etc.
 
My great uncle Patrick Tinnion died on July 1st 1916 alongside a lot of his mates in the Tyneside Irish. No grave but his name is on the memorial.
 

Paddy O'Dors

Striker
Is that Ypres mate? I read a good book about Passchendaele a few months ago. Soldiers were just as likely to die from drowning in mud as being killed by the enemy.

"We died in hell, they called it Passchendaele" was one of the quotes. It's sobering to the soul.
It is mate. It's how they spell it. I've been to Tyne Cott and that's a good place to visit. Also as someone else mentioned the Menin Gate. Overwhelming the size of it and the number of those with no known grave. They ran out of room and had to start putting them on a wall in Tyne Cott. You can also see the bullet marks on the Menin Gate from WWII fighting.
 

twangmackem

Central Defender
My Grandad was there. I once asked my Dad if he spoke about it or said anything to him before he went off to war at the age of 21. Apparently they never talked about it, then he died while Dad was away in the army. It's all very difficult to comprehend.

so sad mate

Did the tour in 2010. Great experience in a respectful way. Unbelievable how many gravestones are marked "known only unto God" and those poor souls on the Theipval Monument have no grave are remains to bury at all. Also did Ieper which was another great experience.

Still finding unknown brothers still now

Sounds like a fuck up to me.
I know it's a different battle, but I still can't get through the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth.

I've been to the battlefields and the sight of all those tombstones will stay with me for the rest of my days
I`m the same, I love watching blackadder all the time goes forth is still my best series but only ever watched the end of goodbyeeeeeeeeee once and can`t bring myself to watch the end, as he blows the whistle I turn off, pleased I`m not the only one thought I was just being stupid

My great grandfather Private David John Gardiner 22050,Durham Light Infantry 8th Battalion was killed in action at the Somme on 3rd August 1916,one of my Aunties has the letter sent out from the M.O.D confirming it,i've researched where he's buried in France,would love to visit his grave one day.

Should try to do it, I can only imagine it`ll be very emotional though, hope you get the chance mate

It's been getting to me recently. Every time it's on the news I choke a bit and I'm the last person to ever show emotion.
It's getting to me because it dawned on me two years ago (the 100 year anniversary when I was just about to turn 18) that 100 years ago this would have been me. It would have been me and so many of my friends. It's so so unfair that those lads were sent there for a cause that could have largely been avoided on our 'front', it was Churchill and Grey who largely harried parliament into war on a pretext less stable than a one we'd ignored 30 years before.
If those lads had been born 100 years on they may have even been on here, we are that interchangeable. So desperately sad, and even those who survived were ruined either physically or mentally or both. Vile, vile war that pitched normal lads from Britain and our allies against normal lads from Germany and their allies. They were exactly the same, just as we are now but were forced to brutally murder each other in the most appalling ways.
So deeply unfair and so sad, and led to round 2 just twenty years on. Never again in Europe, hopefully.

Good post mate, having an army time behind me I`ve had some scary moments but nothing like them gentlemen faced

Absolutely mate, tomorrow at 7.36 (I think) part of the DLI went forward, also some Northumberland Fusiliers too I think. Like you said, could have been us. Truly awful stuff.

A lot of Fusiliers perished there, I`m a Fusilier myself personally so we learn quite a bit about them

My great grandad was in the Northumberland Fusiliers, he survived the Somme but was killed near Armentiers in January 1917, went to visit his grave a few years back which was an amazing experience. He and all the other brave souls who gave their lives will be in my thoughts tomorrow morning. My great grandmother lost both her 2 year old daughter to illness and then her husband in the space of 3 months, when she received his possessions back there were letters and other items which he had in his pockets when he was killed and they had holes and burn marks in them from the shrapnel that killed him (I still have them) as well as some of his tobacco. I suppose we are very lucky to have those items and a grave to visit when many don't. Incredibly hard times, can't imagine how she must have felt and you realise how lucky we are now thanks to their sacrifices. She went on to start a very successful haulage transport business with her sister in Gateshead as well as bringing up her two sons. Apparently they were pretty driven and ruthless business women and you can understand it with how hard they must have had to work in order to succeed.

That's an amzing post mate, the burnt letters can only make you think what he done that day
 
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Scotty

Winger
It seems ironic that given a primary reason for the British starting the Battle of the Somme in the first place was an effort to take German pressure off of the French at Verdun that it ended up costing more casualties than Verdun itself and the French have apparently completely forgotten it.
they have'nt forgotten it per se - its just that in the eyes of the french the heroic defence of verdun means more to them

just like Gallipoli is a huge deal to the Anzacs, whilst not as much of a deal to us - for example
 

Odysseus

Goalkeeper
Why was Sol Campbell doing a reading? What's his connection with the Somme?!
I seem to recall his reading related to the Football Battalion:

"The 17th (Service) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment was an infantry battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, part of the British Army, which was formed as a Pals battalion during the Great War. The core of the battalion was a group of professional footballers, which was the reason for its most commonly used name, The Football Battalion. The 23rd (Service) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment was formed in June 1915 and became known as the 2nd Football Battalion. The battalions fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 amongst others, and soldiers who fought for the 17th included Second Lieutenant Walter Tull, who was the first black Infantry Officer in the British Army." (Wiki)

they have'nt forgotten it per se - its just that in the eyes of the french the heroic defence of verdun means more to them

just like Gallipoli is a huge deal to the Anzacs, whilst not as much of a deal to us - for example
Indeed. The French WWI narrative revolves around Verdun.
 

the veteran

Midfield
All wars are horrendous in one way or another but that one in particular was battlefield lunacy ya had blokes on horseback with swords charging machine guns absolute canon fodder.. certain death for some but still did it... heroic
 
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