Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lions Led By Donkeys

Today is the 9oth anniversay of the first day of the battle of the Somme. It was the start of a major offensive by Allied troops on German positions. Some 750,000 went into battle, an attacking force heavily outnumbering the opposition, and victory seemed assured. But earlier blunders meant that the German forces were ready for the assault and devestated the Allied ranks. 58,000 men were killed or injured in a single day. It led to the rise of the opinion that the soldiers were "lions led by donkeys", as the officers in charge continued with the same mistake again and again. They hadn't realised that the rules of engagement had changed. Technology and weaponry had advanced, and the old ways did not apply. The TV series BlackAdder goes Forth shows much of the horror and lunacy that was apparent, and the final scenes of the last episode remain with all that watch it.....

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