Do things ever change?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by seafarer1939, Feb 14, 2010.

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  1. Sometimes I read something and it pisses me off so i have to share it with you in case there is an answer.
    In WW1 there are hundreds of cases where doltish officers brought carnage to the troops because of cavalry mentality including one famous episode when a brave young officer crept out into no mans land and came back with a report saying it was so swampy it was suicide to try an attack.Haigs intelligence officer[that's a contradiction in terms] said he could certainly not tell Haig that as it would make him depressed!over 3000 died stuck in the swamp!
    After reading the latest book Sniper by Sgt Mills re Irag, his team watched as a full mortar team set up and lobbed shells at the barracks,they then packed up and as they were leaving he asked permission to shoot them,officer commanding replied he could not as they were not in a threatening situation now!
    I think I've got too much time on my hands but can we ever escape the public school,Sandhurst code where everyone is a good chap?Just makes me mad and it did the sniper team also.Great book by the way.
    PS Now that Broon has sold our gold cheap and wants to sell Dover to the French,can we have an extra armed guard around the Crown Jewels in case he gets his greedy hands on those?
     
  2. In regards to the officer refusing the order to shoot the mortar team I think it might have more to do with the current legal culture whereby said officer could have found himself on charges if some douche of a government lawyer or a human rights zealot decided to make a scapegoat of him for 'murdering' the terrorist scum when they weren't actively trying to kill British soldiers or given a warning.
     
  3. He didnt have eyes on when they were firing if i remember correctly.

    Brilliant book though, especially when another officer gave them permission to slot a d!cker with only a radio who was directing mortor rounds. So abit of both from the officers in that book, but your right about back in the world wars that was just a p!ss take.
     
  4. Have to say I disagree with this cherrypicked classwar history that slags off the General Staff for the losses suffered in the First World War especially as several Brigadiers were killed in action with two at the Somme alone which dispells the myth of senior officers hiding behind the lines while sending men to their deaths. I would advise reading Mud, Blood and Poppycock a book that in my opinion presents a far more balanced view of the cock-ups and successes of the war, the fact its also written by an ex-Gurkha officer means he has a fair idea of what he's talking about. From the several books I've read on the subject the General Staff did the best they could in a new type of industrialised, static warfare that none of them had ever experienced or been trained for. And yes some of them had been promoted to positions far beyond their abilities due to wealth or friends in the right places but I wouldn't bet against their being a couple of generals/admirals/air marshalls today who would fail miserably if they were suddenly given combat command of a Corp/Fleet/Air Group which had minimal training and zero experience and were fighting with alien technology.
     
  5. You've not met a Gurkha Officer then. I'd rather trust the opinion of Logistic Corps driver. :lol:
     
  6. No I've not. But I have met some of the RLC's finest so I get the insult. :lol:
     
  7. Picture the scene The Somme Dec 26th 1915,
    My Great grandad 2nd/5th Lancs fusilliers
    On Stag as the pongos call it.
    He says "halt who goes there"
    Young drunk Officer replies with his webley "Bang"
    Cue cover up

    Web Page Name
     
  8. I understand the replies and I don't want to pick apart bits of this and that,I want the gloves to come off.The Yanks would have took out the mortar team[who went behind a wall to fire] they also would have took out a block of houses with it.Over the top?at least that mortar team would not fire on troops again as they were allowed to do.
    Stop this human right crap and shoot all who fire at you even if they are leaving the scene.
    As for the other post I am not trying to condemn WW1 officers some were very good.
    I have a chapter in a book where officers on horseback lashed men across the shoulders with riding crops as they went to the front to die because they were not going fast enough.
    How dare they?this is the kind of system that was eliminated in WW2 to a great degree,I just want leaders to carry the fight with the gloves off.
    It won't happen until the most determined commanders are installed.
    Guess I sound like an armchair idiot but I see no sense in letting a mortar team leave to have another crack later.They fired,they packed up,they should have been shredded.IMO
     
  9. (granny)

    (granny) War Hero Book Reviewer

    Age old problem. Experience is gained through conflict. By the time we get it right the conflict ends. By the time of the next conflict the said experienced people have gone. Therefore off we go again. Same mistakes.
    Reminds me of the Foot and mouth outbreak a few years ago. All the lessons learned from the previous outbreak were lost. All the knowledge went with time. The new specialists had no idea what to do. They had to learn all over again. Ad infinitum. We rarely learn from the past. History is a dead subject.
     
  10. Lots of Officers were killed in WW1 especially the junior ones mainly because they had to lead their men from the front.
    However it is a known fact that the Generals and Field marshals never
    went to any active part of the front to see first hand the conditions the men had to fight in.
    The planned assaults and advances most of the plans were noted--expect high casualties .
    In 1917 WW1 had almost exhausted the available conscripts in the UK
    Its a good job the US declared war on Germany so as to inject more manpower for the front.

    It was a disgusting war for casualties . Montgomery who served in ww1
    remembered it. In ww2 he put his memories into practice and his casualty
    counts were all quite low.

    G :fish:
     
  11. I stand by my early statement and in regards to Montie you've obviously forgotten Market Garden where he managed to suffer 17,000 casualties carrying out an Op that had red flags going up throughout but that he and Browning ignored in order to push their agenda at SHAEF.
     
  12. I concur with your statement that there were scores of officers killed in WW1, and this is born out by the fact that many duties that would have been the job of officers were delegated to senior NCOs and warrant officers.
    My own paternal grandfather was placed I/C of a set of three POW camps in Evesham in 1916 after being classed as unfit for the front after recovering from wounds. He was a WO1 with the Dorset reg.
    The actual camp commandants were sergeants in similar circumstances
     
  13. As you say, Mud, Blood and Poppycock presents a fairly balanced view of the WW1 general staff, but, however balanced, it is very difficult to read accounts like that of the Fromelles action, as related in Les Carlyon's "The Great War" and not be convinced that Alan Clark's "Lions led by Donkeys" quote is very close to the truth.
     
  14. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    Try reading "Forgotten Victory" and "Tommy" for a counterbalance to the prevailing wisdom that it was lions led by Donkeys. A large number of officers were killed in the war, but due to the smaller numbers at front line level, naturally it appears that less were killed than the men (funny that!).

    General assessment now seems to be that the UK General Staff were progressive people having to turn a professional army into a vastly larger conscript army while dealing with a range of technological advances unknown only months earlier. The result was a series of bloodings, such as the Somme which helped shape the army and turned it into a battle winning instrument in 1917 and 1918. Its fair to say that the British Army of 1918 was probably the most advanced, co-ordinated and swept up on the planet.
     
  15. By all means I agree. I remember doing an essay on Robert Graves Goodbye To All That for my English A-level as well as reading Keegan's The First World War both of which are pretty unflattering to the commanders. I was just arguing against the standard public view that they were all callous, indifferent, incompetent upper class butchers.
     
  16. Is anyone watching Road Warriors? Dear lord! First it is crap TV as filming a driver driving in the dark is not so interesting to watch and then they seem to have focused on some female who is engaged to someone is the same line of work. She got all weapy when he visited her truck after an attack. Does that particular production company say to the PR bods please ensure that you allow us to film the wettest female about so that we can make them look complete plonkers as they did with that girl crab in the previous documentary about Afghan?

    Or do you think it is a big conspiracy to make girls look like pathetic wet idiots?!!
     
  17. That Warship series didn't do women any real favours either as those featured were always either crying or about to cry.
     
  18. To be fair to the lady in question, she is doing the job regardless.
     

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