It’s been over 100 years since the start of World War 1
It’s been 100 years since the start of world war 1
‘The Great War’
And it is appropriate to reflect on the millions of casualties. This was suppose to be the war to end all wars and when you see the sheer numbers of dead and wounded, you need to think of how the populations of those countries where truly impacted by such numbers and the sheer volume and personal cost to almost every household. Can you imagine it this was the first ‘total war’. And what a cost.
To find out just how great this toll was view this table from PBS.org
(Day 1, 11 days of Remembrance)
Machine guns came to dominate
A new weapon was introduced in 1914 the machine gun. These guns were manned by trained gun crews and set up more than one gun crew on the battlefield with ‘interlocking arcs of fire’ which created such a killing field that the noble Calvary charge became a thing of the past. They also created trench warfare as attacking across open fields in big long straight lines became suicide. 230 soldiers died per hour in WWI and the effective use of the machine gun was one of the reasons.
find out the upside and downside of the machine guns of WWI FirstWorldWar.com
(Day 2, 11 days of Remembrance)
A bottle of wine cost the WWI soldier 1 franc.
Canadians preferred taking leave in Paris or the Riviera than Britain. Their money went further and they the French had better brothels.
The French soldiers were issued a ration of Wine, It was considered essential to the moral.
And the Brits had Rum for shell shock’.
Wine and Warfare TheDrinksBusiness.com
Rum was the cure DiffordsGuide.com
(Day 3, 11 days of Remembrance)
Most historians agree WWII began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939.
Some think it started when Japan invaded Manchuria in China on September 18th, 1931. And others suggest WWII was actually just a continuation of WWI with a break in between. WWII was the most destructive war in history. It cost more money, damaged more property, killed more people and changed the world. This totaled between 50 – 70 million killed 80% of these were civilians Russians, Chinese, Germans and Poles.
“WWII started long before Germany’s attack on Poland” read more on RT.com
(Day 4, 11 days of Remembrance)
WW1 the Brits blew up the Messines Ridge in Belgium. The powerful explosions could be heard in Ireland!
June 7th, 1917 the British blew up the Messines Ridge near Ypres by laying a mine under the ridge. Some 10,000 German soldiers died instantly. The blast was heard as far away as Dublin Ireland.
Have a look at the some of the deep mine photos, and the enormous craters that are still remaining!.. read more on clevelode-battletours.com
(Day 5, 11 days of Remembrance)
“Delivered at the rate of one a day, The Liberty Ship”
The longest battle of WWII was the battle of the Atlantic 1939 – 1945. They used a lot of different merchant ships. Some of the the ships,”Q Ships” were heavily armed, but appeared to be harmless freighters or sailing vessels. The idea was to lure U-boats to the surface for easy target. “Q Ships” were typically cargo steamers or trawlers, had guns concealed under fake lifeboats or hidden under fake funnels and awnings and other concealed weaponry. They often carried a cargo of wood to make them harder to sink. I have a personal connection to the Merchant Marine my grandfather Capt Hill Wilson was a merchant marine sea captain throughout WWI and WWII, during the Battle of the Atlantic he had one ship torpedoed out from under him in the North Atlantic. The funny part of it for a man who spent his whole life at sea since the age of 13 he never learned to swim. The Battle of Atlantic losses were staggering the allies lost 36.200 sailors and 36,000 merchant marine sailors. The Germans lost 30,000 sailors. Allied shipping loss was 3,500 merchant ships, 175 warships were sunk by the Germans who lost 783 U-Boats
“Merchant Marines vital role” read more on heritage.nf.ca
“Liberty ship yards” read more on skylighters.org
(Day 6, 11 days of Remembrance)
Cammo up the town, Hollywood brought to war.
We’ve all heard of the Military using camouflage since the time of the Trojan horse . While the soldiers were fighting overseas and creating decoys like fake tanks and rubber airplanes, we needed keep the war effort at home buzzing. To prevent our factories from aerial attacks – our decoys just got big.
During World War II Col. John F. Ohmer was tasked to disguise Lockheed’s Aircraft Plant in Burbank California. With Army Engineers and the help of movie studios in Hollywood the plants hid under a canvas canopy of fake shrubs houses and farms. It looked just like a Californian suburb.
View more about this amazing camouflage here amusingplanet.com
and at lockheedmartin.ca
(Day 7, 11 days of Remembrance)
The Korean war started when North Korea crossed the 38th parallel.
The Korean War started on June 25th, 1950 when North Korea crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. 16 UN countries committed combat troops to fight in Korea. My Regiment the PPCLI saw action in Korea especially at the battle of Kapyong April 24th & 25th 1951. North Korea and China committed 5,720,000 troops to the war. A truce was signed at Panmunjom North Korea on July 27th, 1953.
Learn more about this battle here korean-war.commemoration.gov.au
(Day 8, 11 days of Remembrance)
Since the end of WWII the UN has mandated 55 UN missions
Since the end of WWII the UN has mandated 55 UN missions where troops from various countries have been deployed over the years. Basically the the concept, from my experience having been deployed on 5 of these UN missions – is to put on your blue hat and stand between two waring factions and give them an excuse to stop killing each other. There are currently 18 UN missions ongoing right now. Some 3,277 soldiers have been killed on UN missions to date. In 1988 the UN Peace Keeping Force as whole, won the Noble Peace Prize I have my copy on my office wall.
The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, Learn more UN.ORG
(Day 9, 11 days of Remembrance)
Afghanistan (to-date our longest war)
I remember running down to the CF recruiting center when the Government announced we were committing troops to Afghanistan. My intent was to re-up as I figured my Regiment would need some experienced soldiers. The young recruiting Captain looked across his desk at me in amusement and said Chief (he was Navy) don’t you think you’re a little old for the infantry (he said it quite politely). As he looked at my service decorations he noted I had three deployments to the Middle East and amused “well I guess we’re going to need some guys who can speak Arabic and understand the culture”. I amused back respectfully informing the young Captain “the Afghans aren’t Arabs and they do not speak Arabic perhaps Pashto and other dialects found in the tribal regions.” He asked me how I knew that and I asked him “had he ever heard of a guy by the name of Kipling?” He replied “no” so I quoted Kipling’s poem about fighting on the plains of Afghanistan. A lot of Canadian leaders had forgotten about Kipling’s words before yet again plunging us into the Afghan morass (to-date our longest war).
As I see it this new generation of young Afghan vets have reclaimed for all us vets the public’s pride in us as soldiers. And for one who served throughout the Vietnam Era this new public attitude is still shocking. (you would have had to been in the military during that era to fully understand ‘the what for of it’ and why it was such an important change for this old vet to experience a refreshing new public attitude and trust towards us). Through their very public sacrifice these young men and women have done much for the honour and pride of service we all hold so dear.
So Job Well done!
Learn about The Second Anglo-Afghan War garenewing.co.uk
(Day 10, 11 days of Remembrance)
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.