Friday, July 1, 2016

Somme 100

100 years ago, over the top, laddies.

And poof!  A professional army that took a century to develope and hordes of Pals that volunteered together to pitch in went up in greasy smoke and a pink mist, leaving a generational hole in Britain.  (Speaking of generational warfare.)

Even that has been old fuddy-duddy at the Metrocon Fortnightly noted the anniversary.

Thanks to Keegan's Faces of Battle, this event was a big deal in my college history days in the late 80s.  That was a textbook.  History of War.  They no longer offer it at my alma mater.  At the time I had a lot of trouble getting my head around the extent of the carnage.  57,000, with 19,000 KIA.  First day. Started a few days before our Independence Day.  It ended a few days before our Thanksgiving Day.  A half million dead, then.  For what we our about to receive, Lord, may we be truly thankful, amen.

Oh, but the great gains that were made!  Must have been ground gains the size of my back yard!

The French fought in the battle after bleeding for months in Verdun.  The Germans, too.  Obviously.  But we always talk about the Brits, here, for some reason.  I guess we could read their accounts better.  And, again, the other combatants were more concerned with their own big battles that the Brits were not a part of.  They were only halfway through that 10 month battle. 

The war had been going on for 2 years at this point.  Just a month shy, actually.  Call it 23 months.  Then this.

Did it make an impression on folks?  Well, I only saw some black and white pictures of the thing and it made an impression on me. 

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