Lest We Forget...Butcher Haig

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davecryan
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Lest We Forget...Butcher Haig

Post by davecryan » November 11, 2012, 2:12 pm

http://www.aftermathww1.com/clark.asp

A UK War Criminal

God rest his victims....his OWN countrymen.



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Post by Bonanza » November 11, 2012, 11:59 pm

So, Davecryan, out of interest how would you have done things? :?

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Post by BobHelm » November 12, 2012, 9:22 am

It is rather too easy sometimes to look back & criticise, judging by today's standards & circumstances.
It is true that, since the 1960s, Haig has been roundly condemned as a butcher; it was rather different at the actual time. Indeed his death was subject to a day of national morning.
Current historians tend towards a man making his best of a terrible situation.

The world was having one of its' spurts of technology at the start of the war, something that the war undoubtedly quickened. When the war started the use of cavalry was one of the most important subjects being taught in Officer training.
Haig himself had a cavalry background & his fighting experience was largely the Boer War, a completely different approach to warfare than the First World War turned out to be.
Indeed, the important fact to remember, his opponents in World War One fared no better than his troops. At the time there was no better option than digging trenches, gas warfare & frontal attacks. The creation of the machine gun (& advancements in shells) made conventional warfare tactics, as taught in military academies world wide, obsolete.

Haig has largely been criticised because he was the product that society made him. That hardly seems fair & those that have criticised him have never said what he should have done instead, simply because there were no alternatives, it was all being made up as it went along.

The first World War was a horrific act. Largely borne out of competition for riches by obtaining foreign colonies by England & Germany. It changed Europe for ever. For all of its' horror that change was undoubtedly beneficial. Sadly its end only created the embers for the next World War, which completed the social changes that started with the First one,

Yes, Haig could have been a better commander & not enough emphasis was placed on the probabilities of casualties, but that was a product of the times, not necessarily to be laid at the door of any individual..

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Post by Aardvark » November 12, 2012, 10:17 am

I've always wondered how a Commander could just keep sending wave after wave of Men over the top when even the most feeble mind could see it was achieving nothing. I thought these Generals were supposed to be innovative tacticians but they showed no tactics at all. Just as it easy in hindsight it must have been equally easy making those decisions from two miles behind the lines. Black Adder portrayed it perfectly I thought :-k

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Post by Khun Paul » November 12, 2012, 11:53 am

WW 1 generally known as the war to end all wars, did the exact opposite it started and since then it has not really stopped, despite the lack of sophistication in WW1 the same mistakes are still being made , Fight NO Talk, we as species have not really learnt a damn thing, no-one can blame one person at any time be it Haig or any of the other generals then or even now, they are responding to the thought processes at the given time, the methodolgy and the perceived outcomes of those thoughts.

We have all I am sure lost friends or even family through wars or conflicts, pointing the finger didn't help then and I am sure it wont help now. We owe it to the fallen to never forget and to try our best to make sure it doesn't happen again, but we seem incapable of that currently.

RIP to all our comrades.

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Post by trubrit » November 12, 2012, 1:07 pm

Bonanza wrote:So, Davecryan, out of interest how would you have done things? :?
Good question. It is so easy to criticize after the event, with the benefit of hindsight. Those who have never been in a position of command would never understand the urgency of the situation, the decision that has to be made, the thinking on your feet as it were. The responsibilities are enormous, the consequences often tragic if you get it wrong. No amount of training can guide those decisions, only help you to make the best one at the time , but regardless of rank we are all, still human and as such fallible, especially at times of stress. I am sure no commander would deliberately issue an order that led to defeat and loss of his men.He would have , at the time, thought it was the correct thing to do and now with the knowledge of the result we still don't know if it was or not . Whose to say whether an alternative would have ensured victory with lesser loss of lives. It is noticeable that his critiques have never provided an alternative to them but continue to say he was wrong .This scenario has been repeated in WW11 with the pillorizing of Bomber Harris for his part in bombing Germany. It helped in bringing the hun to his knees. Yes it cost many lives but who knows how many were saved if the war had been prolonged longer . The truth is , no one.So lets just remember everyone who took part or was effected by the terrible events being played around us. That's the purpose of Armistice Day. Give thanks to all regardless , I am sure they all gave of their best at the time , and hope we all have learnt of the futility of war .
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Post by rick » November 12, 2012, 1:53 pm

It's not true to say that innovation wasn't tried. Yes, at the beginning it was thought by both sides that a quick, if bloody war would end the conflict. Unfortunately the magazine rifle allowed defenders to pick off attackers faster than they could run forward (not many machine guns in 1914). The machine gun was the weapon of defence, made it harder. The artillery barrage was the counter to that (they hoped). After that air power was rapidly developed, gas and eventually the tank (of which Haig was in favour of). However, in WW1 the advantage of the defensive trench was never really overcome in any European battlefield and mobility did not exist, so gains were always limited to a few miles. The germans if anything were more innovative in tactics. However, even by 1916 it was obvious the allies could win the slugging matches in the trenches (forget, the somme, that was a mistake), because they had by then more manpower and more munitions, because they had the ability to trade overseas. In the end, it was this slow relentless attrition which won the war. but all the tactics which were used in WW2 were first tried in WW1, but were never developed enough to change the course of that war. The French were the worst for sending men over the top, and unfortunately the British were forced to follow suit, however reluctantly, or be branded cowards by their allies.
Yes, a terrible waste of life, but as said, it did drive forward the principle that war was something you should never choose except as a last resort.

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Post by BobHelm » November 12, 2012, 1:59 pm

Heavy guns based on the Maxim such as the Vickers machine gun were joined by many other machine weapons, which mostly had their start in the early 20th century such as the Hotchkiss machine gun. Submachine guns (e.g., the German MP18) as well as lighter machine guns (the Chauchat, for example) saw their first major use in World War I, along with heavy use of large-caliber machine guns. The biggest single cause of casualties in World War I was actually artillery, but combined with wire entanglements, machine guns earned a fearsome reputation. The automatic mechanisms of machine guns were applied to handguns, giving rise to automatic pistols (and eventually machine pistols) such as the Borchardt (1890s) and later submachine guns (such as the Beretta 1918). Machine guns were mounted in aircraft for the first time in World War I. Firing through a moving propeller was solved in a variety of ways, including the interrupter gear, metal reinforcement of the propeller, or simply avoiding the problem with wing-mounted guns or having a pusher propeller
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_gun

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Post by parrot » November 12, 2012, 2:02 pm

The discussion brings to mind President Obama's comment to Romney during one of the debates: "'Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed,' President Obama argued.
Look how long it took the US military to harden their troop carriers/humvees etc during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars! Lots of reasons were given why 'it couldn't be done overnight'....meanwhile the casualties mounted. This being the beginning of the 21st Century, not the beginning of the 20th as was the case in Haig's time.

I doubt it's still the case these days, but while in the AF in the 1980's, the idea that drones would supplant fighter jets, even in the slightest way, was laughed at by many pilots. I've the feeling that in the early days of WWI, calvary men viewed tanks with the same disdain. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates probably received the same feedback when in 2010 he said "Mark my words, the Navy and Marine Corps must be willing to re-examine and question basic assumptions in light of evolving technologies, new threats and budget realities."
I'd be happier to see a few computer geeks wreck havoc on Iran's computer systems than try to bomb out their nuclear processing capability.

At least we don't have to worry about returning to bayonets and calvary for the next 4 years.

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Post by TJ » February 4, 2013, 7:38 am

Reading about WWI/II is educational and interesting. There is so much to absorb and digest.

Even some novels should be part of those readings necessary to better understand the major wars. For example, C.S. Forester's "The General" was recognized as an valued attempt to understand now the WWI military staffs were able to commend hundreds of thousands of their men to sure death with so little to be gained. "For Forester, to understand Herbert Curzon's simple courage and determination to do his duty is to understand how men like Curzon, who were not by nature evil, were led to order the cream of their country's manhood to sacrifice themselves in the pointless bloody slaughter of the Somme or Verdun or Gallipoli."

There was that study that analyzed the WWII bombings of Germany and concluded that the men and resources spent would have been better spent on other non-bombing military uses and needs.

How many know that Churchill initiated bombings of German cities hoping to provoke a retaliation of German bombing of British cities? The object was of course to win the sympathy in the U.S. and other nations so that they would join England in the war. He succeeded; Hitler responded and bombed England. Other nations joined the war due to propaganda and political influences, not due to their individual national interest.

Why did Japan join with Germany in WWII, when it had not in WWI. The main reason was that Japan had a treaty with Britian during WWI. The Japanese admired the English for being an island nation that had gained world dominance. The U.S. influenced British government to abandon their treaty with Japan. With this restraint removed FDR was able to provoke the Japanese into attacking. IMO FDR and his staff were totally responsible for the Pacific-Area war. Was the horrific War-In-The-Pacific worth the propaganda effect which stampeded the U.S. people to support and join the British in their war against Germany?

Did you know that during the peak of the German invasion of the USSR Stalin and staff were suing for peace and willing to cede a great part of their nation?

Hitler had no definate plan to invade Poland, though he likely expected Poland to soon become a German satalite. Hitler demand a right of transportation across the Polish corridor, a road and a railway. When Chamberlain foolishly and public announced that if Poland was attacked Britain would declare war on Germany, somehow the ruling Polish junta believed this made them safe from any German incursion and refused Hitler's demand of transport capability. Being denied this not-so-unreasonable request, Hitler invaded Poland.

It is all so very complicated and strange that it seems necessary to read many books to fathom what the wars were all about.

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Post by BobHelm » February 4, 2013, 12:10 pm

If Fictionary encourages people to go & search fo the real truth about an historical situation then I applaud it.
However if people read it & believe it to be the truth then that is truly appalling.
Fiction writers are no purveyors of the truth.
At their best they are manipulating an historic event to pursue the telling of a tale.
At their worst they are dressing up lies as the truth for political, or other, purposes.

I am sorry TJ but your post displays a huge lack of any sort of knowledge about the second world war.

Just taking your hysterical assertion that it was caused by Chamberlain shows a compete lack of any understanding of what was happening in Europe at the time,
Chamberlain was possibly responsible that it did not start early than it did, in March 1939 when Germany took over Czechoslovakia, illegally. Non action by the British encouraged Hitler to believe that they would not go to war over Poland either. Large portions of Poland were formerly German until the Treaty of Versailles took them away from Germany to create Poland. Hitler had every intention of taking over Poland completely.
In September 1939 in a speech in Danzig he said...
Poland never will rise again in the form of the Versailles treaty. That is guaranteed not only by Germany, but also… Russia.
Does that really sound like someone just wanting 'rights of transportation' across a country??
Chamberlain stated the British view...Poland had been created by the Treaty of Versailles. Britain had signed the treaty to say it would enforce it.. He stated that Britain would fulfill its' legal obligations under the treaty - nothing more, nothing less..
From Wiki...
Following several German-staged incidents (like the Gleiwitz incident, a part of Operation Himmler), which German propaganda used as an excuse to claim that German forces were acting in self-defence, the first regular act of war took place on 1 September 1939, at 04:40, when the Luftwaffe attacked the Polish town of Wieluń, destroying 75% of the city and killing close to 1,200 people, most of them civilians. This invasion subsequently began World War II. Five minutes later, the old German pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish military transit depot at Westerplatte in the Free City of Danzig on the Baltic Sea. At 08:00, German troops—still without a formal declaration of war issued—attacked near the Polish town of Mokra. The Battle of the Border had begun. Later that day, the Germans attacked on Poland's western, southern and northern borders, while German aircraft began raids on Polish cities. The main axis of attack led eastwards from Germany proper through the western Polish border. Supporting attacks came from East Prussia in the north, and a co-operative German-Slovak tertiary attack by units (Field Army "Bernolák") from German-allied Slovakia in the south. All three assaults converged on the Polish capital of Warsaw.
Hardly sounds anything less than a full scale assault to take over a country...which is what it was..

Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that Germany did not have a full & long term aim & plan to annex back most of Polish land to Germany & was the fault of Chamberlain should Google
Operation Himmler

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Post by WhoUrDaddy » February 4, 2013, 1:57 pm

History is fairly useless, and not worth the debate. Simply for the reason, it repeats itself and nothing is ever learned. There will always be a next, with the same mistakes as the last. Only the last war will be successful and have no mistakes, as it will succeed on not leaving anyone to criticize it.

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Post by Aardvark » February 4, 2013, 2:22 pm

Your wrong WUD, there is much to be learned from History. What a shame it has lost it's importance in today's World, the main reason so many mistakes are repeated. I for one love a good discussion on History, and WWII is a favourite of mine as I grew up with so many Eye Witness Stories. Bring on the Debate I say :D

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Post by BobHelm » February 4, 2013, 2:25 pm

That history repeats is not the fault of history, it is the fault of those doing the repeating.
The problem is not with history & what it can teach, because the answer is plenty for those with an open mind & an ability to think.

If nothing else the 2nd. World War teaches how a few can twist the many to doing unspeakable things by manipulating the media.

It is worth looking at the 'advertising campaigns' run by the Nazis against the Jews & then look at some of the 'material' being spewed out of the Right Wing organisations in America against the current President... Hard to spot the difference..

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Post by parrot » February 4, 2013, 2:53 pm

"It is worth looking at the 'advertising campaigns' run by the Nazis against the Jews & then look at some of the 'material' being spewed out of the Right Wing organisations in America against the current President... Hard to spot the difference.."

Except, they'll argue they're exercising their 'freedom of speech'....sort of like applying some white powder, darkened eyes, and bright red lips his face to express one's opinion and display one's intellectual prowess. It's part of the American way.....like owning assault rifles.

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Post by BobHelm » February 4, 2013, 3:02 pm

With freedom comes responsibility..
History is littered with the societies that failed to grasp that simple concept...
Just because someone has the right to do something does not mean that it is the necessary or smart thing to do.. :D

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Post by ronan01 » February 4, 2013, 6:29 pm

TJ wrote:How many know that Churchill initiated bombings of German cities hoping to provoke a retaliation of German bombing of British cities? The object was of course to win the sympathy in the U.S. and other nations so that they would join England in the war. He succeeded; Hitler responded and bombed England. Other nations joined the war due to propaganda and political influences, not due to their individual national interest.
Dont necessarily disagree with your initial assertion but not sure about above - have not had time to research, so shooting from the hip:

thought initial "city" bombing done by germans 40/41 and they lost a lot of aircraft (bombers), then as allies built up and german resources ran down, the allies bombed german cities, not sure the germans were in a position to bomb british cities (again), and not sure who had not joined the war by then (which countries would have signed up because of the re-bombing of britain?)

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Post by BobHelm » February 4, 2013, 7:54 pm

I think that you will find the idea put forward by TJ sadly lacking any facts.
Indeed the facts that are available to the public would suggest that TJ is talking a load of rubbish...

Firstly The Blitz ( the bombing of British cities by German aircraft) started in 7 September 1940 & continued until 21 May 1941.
Over a period of 267 days (almost 37 weeks), London was attacked 71 times, Birmingham, Liverpool and Plymouth eight times, Bristol six, Glasgow five, Southampton four, Portsmouth three, and there was also at least one large raid on another eight cities.[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz
The British bombing of German cities did not start until 1943!!
Professor Frederick Lindemann (later ennobled as Lord Cherwell), appointed the British government's leading scientific adviser with a seat in the Cabinet by his friend Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in 1942 presented a seminal paper to Cabinet advocating the area bombing of German cities in a strategic bombing campaign. It was accepted by Cabinet and Harris was directed to carry out the task (Area bombing directive). It became an important part of the total war waged against Germany.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Arthur ... st_Baronet

So as Germany had already bombed British cities at least a year BEFORE Britain started bombing German cities & as Britain had effectively destroyed German air offensive capabilities at the Battle of Britain (which ended 31 October 1940) it is unlikely in the extreme that
hoping to provoke a retaliation of German bombing of British cities? The object was of course to win the sympathy in the U.S. and other nations so that they would join England in the war.
Firstly the first wave of bombing hadn't & secondly by 1943 the Germans had no planes to do it...

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Post by ronan01 » February 4, 2013, 8:19 pm

BobHelm wrote:I think that you will find the idea put forward by TJ sadly lacking any facts.
Indeed the facts that are available to the public would suggest that TJ is talking a load of rubbish...
I did not wish to infer TJ lacks facts or talks rubbish, I simply asked some questions about "bombing" strategy.

The timeline / events set out by BobH are about what I remember - but have not researched still.

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Post by trubrit » February 5, 2013, 7:24 am

ronan01 wrote: .

The timeline / events set out by BobH are about what I remember - but have not researched still.
What you remember? Don't know how old you are but the event was over 73 years ago and to my knowledge never occurred in Australia. This extract is a cutting from a newspaper of the time that my mother saved, a sort of souvenir of our survival I suppose .My memories are based on my own personal experience having been , along with two other members of my family, on the receiving end,as it were.Our block of flats in Farringdon Rd, EC1, just down the road from St Pauls, was hit on Sept 8th 1940 and completely demolished, burying all the occupants in the rubble. All my family survived but many of our neighbors weren't so lucky.





"September 9, 1940 - Second Night in the Battle of London

Photograph showing two Luftwaffe planes German bombers © The battle for London was on again last night, when Hitler once more launched his bombers at the city. Bombs crashed in the London area.

All day long London had been coolly 'patching up' the damaged spots left after the heavy and prolonged attacks made on Saturday - the first day of the battle.

Immediately after last night's warning - it was London's second of the day - a fierce anti-aircraft bombardment opened up. It started in one outer district, shaking doors and windows, but in a few seconds the Central London guns were in action.

There was the sound of a screaming bomb and an explosion.

Raiders approached London from the north-west. Several planes droned over a suburb.

A second wave came toward the East London area three-quarters of an hour after the warning.

The German machines approaching from the south-east could be seen at a great height. A.A. shells burst round them and they changed their course.

Some bombs were dropped on a suburb, including incendiaries, which started a blaze.

Fires Their Guide

Some of the German machines appeared to turn over another district owing to the fierce A.A. gunfire and flew back toward the coast without, apparently, reaching their main objective.

It was evident that the German airmen had used the smouldering fires of Saturday's raids to guide them, for the attacks were directed at the same area - London's dockland.

The first hour of the attack was considerably less formidable than Saturday's raid - fewer enemy planes were penetrating the intense defensive barrage from the coast to London. At the end of an hour there was a hushed lull.

Ten minutes passed - then, 'like all hell let loose', the whole of London's defence barrage roared and crashed into action, heralding the return of the raiders.

Dull menacing crunches, whining and quivering reverberations were heard. Livid flashes leapt across the darkened sky as the planes dropped their bombs.

A.A. - 3 in Minute

The London area's first warning sounded as formations of raiders attempted a daylight attack.

As one big formation emerged from clouds over a south-east area, three Dorniers were blown to pieces within a minute by A.A. fire. The brilliant marksman was a gunner aged 22.

When the planes were hit their bombs were released and fell over a wide area. Shops and cottages were badly damaged, but all the occupants escaped injury.

The bombs set light to a schoolroom at a boys' home and the matron's house. A master gave the alarm and the elder boys fought the flames.

Members of the Home Guard, disbanding after a church parade, captured one of the airmen who had baled out. He told them that four others were close."


Maybe it will help with your research.







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