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"lions Led By Donkeys" - Topic Close To Billb's Heart


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#61 BillB

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 0451 AM

No, I think the thesis is sound.  It doesn't really matter whether they were volunteers or conscripts, the vast majority of soldiers were working class, not least because that was the demographic.  I'm not sure that agricultural labouring was a lighthouse of good OH&S.  What is abundantly clear is that for the middle classes the trenches were an unimaginable experience, and it was from these people that the 'luvvies' of the 1920s were drawn.  I do suggest that if you are actually interested in the subject then find the original article. 
On another matter, I'm not sure that any British general or staff officer in the 20th century experienced a war that met their expectations.  The basic reason for this is that mostly the British did not start them, hence did not have the initial initiative to shape them (which may or may not have been possible for the initiator).  

 

 

 

[Apologies for the crap formatting, was trying to keep stuff on Archei'e screen. :) The quoting thing is a roayl pain in the arse tho.  :angry: )

 

Would agree with the last para at least up to a point, but regarding the first part I disagree. The thesis is not sound as you have presented it for a number of reasons, not least because you could argue that the trenches were no less an unimaginable experience for working class men; the latter likely adapted better to military service than middle-class recruits, but military service and the trenches were not the same thing.  More importantly, the thesis is too broad brush because it appears to treat the 1914-18 Army as a homogeneous whole whereas it was really three or four separate Armies; the pre-War Regulars, the Territorials, the New Army and the Conscript Army. The social origin of the first is irrelevant and I expect there were a fair few middle-class folk in the Territorials due to its recruiting model. The wild card is the 2.5 million strong New Army which contained a relatively huge number of middle-class men, many of them professionals more than qualified to serve as officers but who preferred to serve in the ranks with their friends and colleagues; in some instances there were entire battalions made up of such men.  I also suspect there were more than a few of what we'd now call luvvies, such as writers, poets, actors etc in those rank, and AFAIK the latter occupations were not protected there was likely a proportion of them among the middle-class cohort of conscripts too. I don't think that middle-class familiarity with the trenches was anywhere near as thin on the ground as you suggest, and I don't therefore think the linkage between the middle-class and luvvies is valid either.  Now if we take "luvvies" to mean the Bloomsbury Group then yes, their experience of the trenches was virtually nil as the male members of that group were all either conscientious objectors or medically unfit, which I suspect is why their views were virtually ignored at the time. But it is too much of a stretch to apply that to the middle-class as a whole, IMHO.

 

BillB


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#62 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 0603 AM

double post (also eating screen space)

Edited by Archie Pellagio, 09 January 2014 - 0619 AM.

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#63 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 0604 AM

"[Apologies for the crap formatting, was trying to keep stuff on Archei'e screen. :) The quoting thing is a roayl pain in the arse tho. :angry: )"

I don't care what everyone say about you, you're alright in my book! ^_^
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#64 glenn239

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 1310 PM

 

...Related: Serbian historians prove Princip not at fault for WW I, film at eleven.

 

Anyway, forgot about that, but if anyone wanted to dig some interesting facts they should look at correspondence that went between Pasic and British embassy. I read published part, and British really though that A-H will back down after Serbian response to ultimatum. Also they assured Pasic that in case of A-H agression vs Serbia they would do anything, including use of military force to prevent any kind of occupation or loss or independence of Serbia.

Problem is that for rest to be published, someone would have to dig up archives that are in total and utter chaos (boxes after boxes of unlabeled papers w/o any semblance of order), so making overblown statements and fascinating lies is way easier.

 

 

British records are available on the internet (google "Gooch origins Ww1").   The British took a hands off position towards the Austro-Serbian dispute, with no promises of any type to Serbia.  Around the 30th Grey went as far as to propose the occupation of Belgrade and surrounding environs by the Austrian army, as  a precursor to negotiations.


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#65 nigelfe

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0109 AM

The root of the thesis is that for most of the people that wrote about the horrors of the W Front their experience (or the experience of their friends) had been totally alien and entirely different to anything in their previous experience.  Compounded by the fact that the average infantry soldier knew little about what was happening more that a couple of hundred yards away.  In contrast the industrial working class was used to living and working conditions that were far closer to those on the W Front, and the latter had some upsides.

 

I do suggest you read the original article. 


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#66 richard g

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0245 AM

The 'lions led by donkeys' thing was obvious at the time and it was recorded as such at the time. Not in those words of course but in the more polite words of the times. Revisionism won't change that. The simple fact is that at the beginning there was no real and universal understanding of what would happen when modern weapons were involved, something which I find incredible but apparently that was the situation. Brit generals were not idiots but as the war progressed some adapted and learnt, some were incapable and then we had the cavalry man in charge who thought/dreamed that just one more push would bust the front wide open.
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#67 BillB

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0601 AM

The 'lions led by donkeys' thing was obvious at the time and it was recorded as such at the time. Not in those words of course but in the more polite words of the times. Revisionism won't change that. The simple fact is that at the beginning there was no real and universal understanding of what would happen when modern weapons were involved, something which I find incredible but apparently that was the situation. Brit generals were not idiots but as the war progressed some adapted and learnt, some were incapable and then we had the cavalry man in charge who thought/dreamed that just one more push would bust the front wide open.

Thanks for that. Now why don't you take your trolling back to the several threads you've created for that purpose and let the grown ups talk, there's a love.

 

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#68 BillB

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0636 AM

And to illustrate that tinkering with the historical facts for the benefit of current mores is an ongoing process...

 

 The Daily Telegraph

Friday 10 January 2014

 

Government Accused of 'social engineering' over it WW1 plans

 

The Government is hit by another row overits plans for the First World War centenary, amid accusations that it is "whitewashing" the contributions of Australians and New Zealanders, in favour of those of black and Asian servicemen

 

http://www.telegraph...-WW1-plans.html

 

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#69 BillB

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0638 AM

The root of the thesis is that for most of the people that wrote about the horrors of the W Front their experience (or the experience of their friends) had been totally alien and entirely different to anything in their previous experience.  Compounded by the fact that the average infantry soldier knew little about what was happening more that a couple of hundred yards away.  In contrast the industrial working class was used to living and working conditions that were far closer to those on the W Front, and the latter had some upsides.

 

I do suggest you read the original article. 

It it available online, Nigel?

 

BillB


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#70 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0726 AM

Well in their defence, technically AS/NZ units didn't participate in any notable actions outside the Pacific until 1915.

Besides, when the Hun can enter Britain seamlessly as 'European citizens' but Australians and new Zealanders have to line up as aliens, it gets driven home that the world had moved on.
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#71 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 0834 AM

"Today, war commemorations are too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Tory and Lib Dem infiltration, indoctrination, subversion and the international Political correctness conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!"
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#72 R011

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 1026 AM

"Today, war commemorations are too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Tory and Lib Dem infiltration, indoctrination, subversion and the international Political correctness conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!"

 

Indeed, and may I also note they were worried about a mine-shaft gap even during the Great War!

 

http://www.firstworl...es/messines.htm


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#73 nigelfe

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 0011 AM

Australia has always tightly controlled the entry of all non-Australians (except New Zealanders), all require visas (sauce, goose, etc).  I assume the members of RAF sqns and BPF sailors did not need them in WW2.

 

I'm always amused by Australians who lack the foresight to have an EU passport (and there are millions eligible) whinging about needing a visa to get into UK.


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#74 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 0054 AM

It's hardly whinging that as someone who has sworn an oath to defend The Queen up to the value of my life as did many before me are lumped in the same line as a citizen from Iraq or Afghanistan (or worse, America!) while Hermann from Dusseldorff strolls past as a "citizen".

And pledging allegiance to a foreign power isn't something to be taken lightly, even if I was eligible for it (which I'm not).
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#75 swerve

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 1644 PM

She's the queen of Australia, & would continue to be your queen even if the UK became a republic. Sharing a monarch doesn't make us the same country. There's a long history of separate countries having the same monarch, without that giving the citizens of those countries a different status from other outsiders in the monarch's other realms.

 

 

And Hermann from Dusseldorf isn't a citizen here. He can't vote in our national elections or constitutional referenda, he can't stand for Parliament, or exercise all the other rights of a citizen. He has limited rights, less than those of a citizen, & some of them are dependent on us having reciprocal rights in Dusseldorf - which we don't have in Australia, & haven't had automatically since 1949, under Australian citizenship law. When that law was passed, the UK actually gave some people born of Australian parents or married to Australians citizenship more readily than Australian law did.

 

And while you may have to wait in the same queue as someone from Iraq or wherever sometimes, you have more rights here than they do. The Commonwealth still makes a difference. Live here & you can vote & stand for office, which Hermann can't.

 

So stop bloody whinging.


Edited by swerve, 11 January 2014 - 1644 PM.

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#76 swerve

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 1645 PM

I'm always amused by Australians who lack the foresight to have an EU passport (and there are millions eligible) whinging about needing a visa to get into UK.

I've been to Australia. I needed a visa.


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#77 richard g

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 0222 AM

The 'lions led by donkeys' thing was obvious at the time and it was recorded as such at the time. Not in those words of course but in the more polite words of the times. Revisionism won't change that. The simple fact is that at the beginning there was no real and universal understanding of what would happen when modern weapons were involved, something which I find incredible but apparently that was the situation. Brit generals were not idiots but as the war progressed some adapted and learnt, some were incapable and then we had the cavalry man in charge who thought/dreamed that just one more push would bust the front wide open.

Thanks for that. Now why don't you take your trolling back to the several threads you've created for that purpose and let the grown ups talk, there's a love.
 
BillB


:lol: It would be an idea to learn what a troll actually is, that would be a grownup thing to do.
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#78 baboon6

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 0318 AM

The 'lions led by donkeys' thing was obvious at the time and it was recorded as such at the time. Not in those words of course but in the more polite words of the times. Revisionism won't change that. The simple fact is that at the beginning there was no real and universal understanding of what would happen when modern weapons were involved, something which I find incredible but apparently that was the situation. Brit generals were not idiots but as the war progressed some adapted and learnt, some were incapable and then we had the cavalry man in charge who thought/dreamed that just one more push would bust the front wide open.

Thanks for that. Now why don't you take your trolling back to the several threads you've created for that purpose and let the grown ups talk, there's a love. BillB
:lol: It would be an idea to learn what a troll actually is, that would be a grownup thing to do.

Go play with your crayons somewhere else.
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#79 richard g

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 0718 AM

Up yourself much?
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#80 richard g

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 0409 AM

Stop acting like dickheads then.
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