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Discussion in 'The Pub' started by QuarterWit, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. I'm sick to death of every ANZAC day, Rememberence day or VE or VJ day (VP day can kiss my hairy arse) celebrating the non combatant, the civillian or some other contributer here's some stats on Allied casualties in the stupid massacre that was WW1. From a book called "British Butchers and Bunglers of WW1"

    One of the opening chapters outlines some oustanding casualties from the first world war. I thought y'all might be interested in the casualty rates that almost claimed a generation of Britsh, French, Australian and Kiwi troops. Some stats are poms, but pretty amazing nonetheless.

    - At the end of the First Ypres, 18 November 1914, the British Expeditionary Force had virtually ceased to exist. Of the first 100,000 soldiers who had gone to France in August, on third lay dead. The average strength of the original battalions was 1 officer and 40 men, instead of 40 officers and 1,000 men.

    - During Second Krithia, Gallipoli, 8 May 1915 the 2nd Australian Brigade went into an assualt with 2,900 men and lost 1,056 including 16 officers killed and 32 wounded. In the 6th Battalion only one of the original combatant officers were left.

    - On the 9th May 1915 at Aubers Ridge in French Flanders, just 15 German Companies and 22 machine guns stopped three attacking British brigades - about 10,000 men. Only 50 men of the 1st Black Watch reached the enemy parapets. Total British Casualties were 27,000. The strategic gain was nil.

    - On the first day of the battle of Loos, 15th Division lost 60 percent of it's men. The 6th Cameron Highlanders went into action with 28 officers and 1,005 men. One junior officer survived to bring out 40 men. On the second day 12 fresh battalions, roughly 10,000 men in all, launched a new attack. In 210 minutes fighting they had lost 385 officers and 7,861 men.

    - In one night's fighting at Fromelles in French Flanders, the Australian 5th Division suffered 5,533 casualties, more than a quarter of it's strength.

    - In six weeks on Pozieres Ridge, July - August 1916, The Australian 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions lost 23,000 men killed or wounded. General Haig said: "Lucky their losses have been fairly small".

    - More than half of all surviving British and Empire soldiers on the western front were wounded in battle. This does not include deaths through illness etc.

    Anyway, something to think about.

    Anybody here have any relatives they should be especially proud of tomorrow?
  2. No, but i'll be there for those who didn't have a chance to have kids.
  3. A book that I read last year (my dog ate the book cover, can't find it now!) about the history of the First World War. The worst part of WW1 was that neither side had a list of stated war aims before and during the conflict. With no aims and no agreement between the various combatants (even their allies), you have no negotiating position.

    No negotiating position means that you can't sit down and work out where you want to go and what you're prepared to accept. So they continued to fight.

    Haig is being re-interpreted now and there are many opinions on how good/ad he was. Historians who use the common view of him are now being labelled as lazy.

  4. Absolutely. My grandfather came to Oz from the UK in 1906, found the going tough, enlisted in late 1915, served with the 54th Battalion in France from 1916 to the end, and came back to Oz in mid 1919.

    Was seriously injured twice. Second time was in the bloody fight for Peronne. Miracle that he survived. Miracle that anybody survived. He was discharged back in Oz, but re enlisted to get his physical injuries sorted. Sadly, his mental state deteriorated to the point where he was interned for the last 20 years of his life.

    His sacrifice had a huge impact on his post war life, and the lives of his wife and his children (my grandmother, mother, aunties and uncles).

    Did he sacrifice? You bet he did. The lasting effects of that sacrifice are still felt today by his family.

    "Lest We Forget"
  5. My maternal grandfather was a light-horseman who fought at Beersheba.

    My father was regular navy and served on the first HMAS Voyager in the Mediterranean - part of what was known as the "Scrap-iron flotilla" (they went through the evacuation from Greece, the evacuation of Crete and the resupply runs to Tobruk). I have a great collection of photos from then. Including one which shows bombs exploding alongside the ship and a comment from him that "The Germans can certainly drop a bomb a lot closer than the Italians can". :LOL:

    He died of a combination of TB, lung cancer, emphysema and (probably) asbestosis - 20 years working in ships engine rooms.

    However my wife's sister's husband has probably seen active service in more individual conflicts than anyone.

    He joined the British army (Royal Horse Artillery Regiment) and was wounded in Korea. He also saw service at Suez and the Malayan emergency - he then joined the Australian army and went to Malaya again, then the Indonesian confrontation and finally Vietnam. He saw genuine active service (i.e. people actually shooting at him) in each of these.

    He made it to sergeant several times in his career :LOL:
  6. once again, modern thinking and the advantage of the lessons learned being read back into the events proves nothing. ALL wars were fought with massive armies and huge casualties were the norm; Napoleon took nearly half a million men to Russia and brought back fewer than 50,000. So what, that's the way wars were fought?

    If YOU had been in the British High Command, YOU would have made the same stupid decisions, because no-one else had any better ideas.

    So on a day on which the sacrifice of those who served, were injured or died or were lost, is remembered, irrespective of the tactics, please spare us your superior knowledge and analysis.
  7. Steady Eddie, he was quoting from a book not giving his personal opinion.
  8. I got the impression, smee, that QW is backing up the contentions of the book.

    If you're not, my apologies. If you ARE, my comment stands.

    Expert comment on events nearly 100 years ago cannot avoid being coloured by thinking that was not available to the people of the day. We should be applauding their victory, not disecting what we would have done in the same situations with 2009's wisdom. That's all I'm trying to say.
  9. this should of been started next week. I consider it tasteless to be brought up today irregardless of intent.

    The poeple died for what you have today. I don't think I can be argued against when I say that the world would be vastly different.

    I'll be happy to discuss this in the future.
  10. I went to dawn service at Liverpool today.

    It was the first dawn service I had been too.

    I will always respect any soldier who fights for this country. But what I experienced today was appaling

    the dawn service was great except for the following:

    When they layed the reef's, I understand having military backgrounds and family's doing so, however I didn't expect to stand there for 20 mins while the old bloke on the mic announced every individual club and BUSINESS to personally lay a reef. I didn't go there to hear which clubs and Business attended the service, I felt almost a sense of being ripped off in a weird way. It made me feel insignificant to show support when Business recieve a full acknowledgment during the service to lay a reef.

    Then there was a key speaker who decided to spend the next 10 mins refering in detail to the Vic bush fires and Sophie Delezio. Granted both where horrible situations, but I've heared enough of the bushfires, I didn't get up at 3am to hear someone speak and refer the ANZACS to vic bushfires and a little girl that has been through a terrible time.

    Are they more important than any other Australian who simply helps someone else in need???

    I just needed to vent, I might be wrong, but I was there to remember the ANZACS and was throughly dissapointed. It should be for the ANZACS and the ANZACS only.
  11. Its amazing just how cheap capitalism can make human life seem....

    and no i ain't no commie....
  12. Definatley, my Grandfather was a Tank commander for the NewZealand Armoured Divisions, and served throughout the war, in Europe, France, Italy and other various countries!

    I am damn proud to be his grandson, and am VERY thankful for his contributions that helped us retain our way of life. For that, the world saw me in the city today waving my Australian and NewZealand flags!
  13. My maternal & paternal Grandfathers both served in the Air Force, as did my father in the Navy, so I have reason to be proud.

    My son is a member of the Australian Army Cadets and what made me especially proud was him being a member of the Cenotaph Party for services at the Sunshine RSL last week, a diggers retirment home on Friday and finall the dawn service at the Flemington RSL on Saturday. He then went on to carry the banner for the 2nd Battallion RAR in the march.

    The respect that he paid to the diggers and the respect that he received from them made me especially proud.
  14. The photos I referred to earlier...

    Bombs exploding alongside HMAS Voyager.


    and my father's comments on them (on the back of the photo)

  15. And another photo of the same attack on the convoy they were escorting.

  16. I used to scoff at suggestions that ANZAC day was a glorification of war, but I believe the media in recent years has done just that.

    There is a mythology that has been created and it troubles me that I can't see an end to it.

    ANZAC, day good. Media coverage of it of late, bad.

  17. I agree with you completely! Didn't march this year, i preferred to be actually out there doing my job, not that i got the choice, but i am glad i was.

    I leave the ADF very shortly, and i doubt i will march again, if only, for that very reason. It makes the whole purpose and memory of the day cheap.

    My two cents worth. :evil:

  18. I agree with the view that the media are hyping things up but I don't think the public have lost the view that it is a commemoration of those whose lives were lost in war and a chance for the survivors to remember them and the public to do the same and show an appreciation for the sacrifice of those who have passed.

    I choose to march with my son in Frankston and the response of the public is heart warming. I had marched in Sydney on my discharge from the military in 2001 and was blown away by the publics support, and get the same feeling in the small event we have down here. Marching in Frankston, I know we are not the media's darling and it is all a result of local attitude.

    You are free to make your own choice but please don't be pressured by the mistakes of the media.

  19. What got to me a couple of years ago was Maccas having an ad with the "Disappearing Diggers" . I was so shocked by it. Unfortunately it set the benchmark for the rest of the advertising i have seen and whenever i hear it, i think of that commercial.

    But Day, i think its great that you march with your son :)

    Gotta admit tho, i missed attending Dawn Service up here in Tindal. But i could hear all of it from my post, it was rather eerie and cool being all by myself in the middle of nowhere.

  20. It's those personal experiences that make the memories strong. My epiphany was Anzac day 2000 on Komoro Beach in Timor. I had not made all dawn services before then but have made every one since.

    Good on you for doing your job. Don't get me wrong. It is all about people, who did their job.