the tragic lies of Admiral Jellicoe

Greenie said:
Seafarer ---am myself interested in the fiasco that was WW1 .

Haig and his ''one last assault'' to carry the battle after losing so many in futile assaults and still not winning anything significant.
Staff Officers planning reports --expect high casualties ---very high !!

Haig was a cavalry man---had friends in high places and kept his job till the end of the war 1919.
The American entry into the war was basically the deciding factor
for the German Armistice .

The usual excuse for the way the war was fought was the fact that the
introduction of 'modern' weapons --the machine gun/ artillery/aeroplanes
Tanks the Army Generals old ideas and tactics couldn't handle it!
Trench warfare was relatively unknown aswell.

Good book ----Butchers and Bunglers of WW1! Written by an Australian
who lost quite a few relatives .Lots of truths in it about the land war casualties and cock ups!!

The RN was similar --the Uboat war was under hand and not very british !!
Uboat detection methods were basic .


G

There is no doubt that the presence of the US forces was a factor but in reality the 'final push' was planned for 1919, and Haig had been starved of resources in 1918 to husband them for the final push in 1919 when the US forces would both be up to full strength and have built up sufficient experience.

However Haig realised that the Gerrmans failure in their big push of 1918 had left then so exhausted that they were vulnerable hence the British 1918 counteroffensive that finally did start rolling up the German defences. The Armistice was signed because the German High Command did believe that the Allies would be in Berlin by Christmas 1918
 

jrwlynch

Lantern Swinger
seafarer1939 said:
I may know nowt about other things but I wanted to find out why so many were led to slaughter for so little gain.
There was an alternative to the trenches,the underbelly thru Italy was was viable but the French,after Verdun,wanted us to take the pressure off their Army who were in mutiny so we had to go in.

The problems with Italy were several. The obvious one is geography: you're fighting across the Alps, with all the problems that gives you. The next is your allies: the Italians didn't have a good war (check out Caporetto, for example).

There were several quests for "alternatives to the trenches", from Gallipoli to Salonika, and indeed Lloyd George was becoming obsessed by the idea that there was some soft spot where a few divisions could be put ashore, formed up, and marched to Berlin for tea and medals: but the unpalatable fact remained that the German Army was occupying northwest France and had to be pushed out of it.

seafarer1939 said:
Generals Rawlinson and Robertson ordered the men to wear heavy packs and walk towards the enemy,run and you will risk been shot,the packs snagged on the wire and thousands died,this is not trench warfare'it's stupid slaughter of the troops.

The problem there isn't the packs - which were vital - it was the wire. It should have been cut by high-explosive shellfire; it wasn't, because there was not enough reliable HE shell. Much of the Somme bombardment had to be fired with shrapnel because the arms industry couldn't produce enough ammunition: it was a nationwide scandal at the time and helped bring down the Government.

The reason the troops had to advance with packs, was that they were crossing no-mans-land and so any replenishment or resupply was across half a mile or more of pre-registered killing ground: where they captured German positions, they had to have enough ammunition and supplies to hold them even when the ground behind them was being swept by shellfire.

Another problem was communications: knowing which units had been bloodily repulsed, which had taken their objectives and needed resupply and reinforcement, and which had broken through and were pushing ahead could only come from men running messages back and forth, which was slow and often lethal.


As to "walk towards the enemy", two good reasons. One, it's typically half a mile of churned mud between the FUP and the objective: try running that in fighting order. Two, the troops in 1916 were extremely green and walking in extended order was about as tactical as they could get with the training time available, if they were to arrive at the objective as a formed unit instead of a mob of stragglers.

With more time, more could have been done: but the French were collapsing at Verdun and needed support desperately. Oh, the joys of coalition warfare...

seafarer1939 said:
Bear also in mind the Germans had fortified their trenches with massive concrete bunkers that shells bounced off,our Generals said it wasn't worth us doing it,the men stayed in mud trenches.

Which was probably the right decision. The task was to push the Germans back out of France and Belgium, not set the trench lines in concrete. The only time the Germans managed a major offensive, they opted for infiltration tactics which would have bypassed concrete structures anyway.

But then, which Army by 1918 had armed its troops with good hand grenades, decent light machine guns, and effective mortars? Then supported them with co-ordinated artillery, armour and even air support? The changes from 1914 to 1918 are incredible, especially considering they were made in contact with the enemy and starting from a small army trained for colonial warfare that had promptly been brutally thinned out by shellfire and bullets.
 
Sadly our OP 'Seafarer1939' had a falling-out on another thread and has since departed. I dont know if he still lurks at RR but it is rather a shame that he is not still here to engage further on his original 'bombshell' regarding his view of Jellicoe.

Although Beatty shone elsewhere later, Jellicoe had quite a job curbing Beatty's brazen impetuosity long before Jutland.
Jellicoe did not get to his position without the highest of professional ability and he must have been regularly deluged with conflicting intelligence, information, advice - besides the ever-present political infighting & intrigues..

Overall, the sorry mess of the WW1 trench camapaigns have been well researched and any 'new snippets' (such as the OP's) are, IMO, rather detracting and sensationlist. The facts are sensation enough......


If any 'good' resulted from WW1 I believe the most significant aspects were:

The realisation that our females had much more potential and a valid claim to equality than their previous, mere domestic, roles.

Our class divides were much reduced by the losses among the landowning gentry.

Uncle Sam was dragged from his isolationism, he became of age, prospered and won his spurs.

As a Nation, the shared contribution and grief emphasised our commonality.


So - Tomorrow, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month:

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943),
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
BreathingOutOnTheWayUp said:
Sadly our OP 'Seafarer1939' had a falling-out on another thread and has since departed. I dont know if he still lurks at RR but it is rather a shame that he is not still here to engage further on his original 'bombshell' regarding his view of Jellicoe.

Although Beatty shone elsewhere later, Jellicoe had quite a job curbing Beatty's brazen impetuosity long before Jutland.
Jellicoe did not get to his position without the highest of professional ability and he must have been regularly deluged with conflicting intelligence, information, advice - besides the ever-present political infighting & intrigues..

Overall, the sorry mess of the WW1 trench camapaigns have been well researched and any 'new snippets' (such as the OP's) are, IMO, rather detracting and sensationlist. The facts are sensation enough......


If any 'good' resulted from WW1 I believe the most significant aspects were:

The realisation that our females had much more potential and a valid claim to equality than their previous, mere domestic, roles.

Our class divides were much reduced by the losses among the landowning gentry.

Uncle Sam was dragged from his isolationism, he became of age, prospered and won his spurs.

As a Nation, the shared contribution and grief emphasised our commonality.


So - Tomorrow, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month:

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943),

Never realised that's where the RBL exhortation came from.
Thanks Breathing
 
I think that verse is the most used in any of the rememberance ceremonies .

The other one being the Kohima verse

Tell them when you get home
We gave our today for your tommorrow

Says it all


G :fish:
 

w.anchor

War Hero
Greenie said:
I think that verse is the most used in any of the rememberance ceremonies .

The other one being the Kohima verse

Tell them when you get home
We gave our today for your tommorrow

Says it all


G :fish:
And one other Poem that is never used in any remembrance ceremony.
Written by a brave solder that did see many actions in WW1 and see many of his comrades die needlessly.His words are below
The General
Good-morning;good-morning!'the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of'em dead,
And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
'He's a cheery old card,'grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

. . . . . . . . . . .
But he did for them both by his plan of attack

By Capt Siegfried Sassoon CBE,MC (Edited to add Sassoon was once recommended for a VC).
Also see 2nd Lt Wilfred Owen,MC, friend of Sassoon and acclaimed WW1 poet and writer of equal standing(killed in action 1918).
 

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