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I haven't read Peter Hart's book and I agree that prior to the first battle of Ypres trench warfare didn't exist. Even when the armies were still mobile there was a great loss of life because the military tactics hadn't kept pace with the development of weapons. It seems that they still believed that battles could be won by over powering your enemy with volumes of soldiers.
There wasn't a lot of love between Sir French and Joffre. From my research Joffre was old school and wasn't open to any plan other than his own, which cost the Allies dearly when Joffre wouldn't send French troops into Belgium to help the Belgium's stop the German advance.
Trench warfare started with the first battle of Ypres when both sides realized that they couldn't defeat the other and the use of artillery was taking such a heavy toll that the only alternative was to dig trenches to protect the soldiers. Eventually there was a continuous line of trenches from the North Sea to the Swiss boarder. This prevented either army to outflank the other. Since conventional methods of warfare didn't work, in April 1915 the Germans introduced a new weapon, chlorine gas, which was the most horrific weapon ever developed. Those exposed to gas experienced a horrible death one could imagine. The first time it was used on the Western Front it killed over 10,000 men within minutes and opened a 4 mile gap in the allied trenches.
Actually my analogy is correct. The only difference, as you pointed out, is that the weaponry could reach out further with more accuracy than bows and arrows. The stupidity was not limited to the French and English, Germany used the same tactics. The war was fought using the same military tactics that were used in our civil war with the same out-come of thousands of soldiers killed. Because of the advancement in weaponry, machine guns, heavy artillery, and air craft, the loss of life was even greater.
At dawn we opened fire on the Bois Du Beiz, which was still held by the enemy. We learned that the 7th division had advanced as far as possible on our left, but had failed to take the Aubers Ridge.
In an effort to coordinate our division, [Lahore] was ordered to consolidate the position we had won and hold it, which we did in spite of numerous German counter-attacks.
It was awful to see the Germans mowed down by our guns, for they made attack after attack in close formation and were literally blown to pieces. Every attack caused the ground in front of our trenches to grow thicker with bodies.
A column of their reinforcements were caught plumb by our 15 inch Howitzer; one round made a gap in the column of about 60 yards. Men, horses and vehicles were gone into thin air, resulting in mass confusion amongst the enemy.
I'm currently reading "The Guns of August" and it is very compelling. I'm currently in the final process of self publishing a book on WW I that is based on my grandfather's WW I journal, it is titled, "The Great Promise". The book is about a promise that my grandfather made to three of his chums prior to their first battle, which was the first battle of Mons. The has the entire contents of the journal and I used the journal entries in my attempt to keep my grandfather's promise. I sent a digital copy of the journal to the Imperial War Museum in London and after reviewing it they said the journal was of significant historical value because it is well written and contains details of the early part of the war when the armies were still mobile. One statement that my grandfather wrote that remains in my mind was that trench warfare is much like laying siege to a castle. The armies wait long periods of time, and when the decision is made, the soldiers run across open land in the attempt to breach the enemy's trench instead of a castle wall. I appreciate your input.
You are correct in both the date and reasons why the US entered the war. I wonder how many under the age of 50 know how and when the US entered the war? I just turned 65 and I'll admit that until I read my grandfather's WW I journal I knew very little about the war. Now when the world honors those that gave their lives, I'll understand why. I feel if the US learns a little more about the war then they'll dirive more meaning from the events that will take place in 2014.
Thank you for correcting my error about Flanders. Most of my research focused on the events of 1914 and 1915 as they relate to the journal entries so I'm a little less knowledgeable about the battles that took place in the later years of the war. You seem to know more about the war than most, which indicates you have an interest.
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