vimy ridge

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Bernhart, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    Easter 2007 is the 90th anniversary of the First World War Canadian military attack on Vimy Ridge in France. CBC is commemorating the events with special broadcast coverage, online photo galleries: Four Days in April about the battle and Building the towers about Canada's war monument, and thoughts from a young Canadian student visiting war memorial sites in Europe.

    The towering 10-storey white limestone Vimy Memorial Monument near Arras, France, fell into disrepair as rain eroded the soft stone and winters cracked some of the building blocks. After three years of restoration work, which included dismantling and rebuilding much of the structure, the dedication of the restored monument takes place Monday, April 9.


    would be nice to be there, it's on CBc over the weekend hope to catch some of it
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    An amazing battle the French had a 150k casualties trying to take it the Brits didn't fare much better it was called impregabable and Canada took it in 4hours and advanced 4 miles the first sucessful major battle of the 1st war .
     
  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I have heard Vimy Ridge called the place where Canada found an identity. For the US, it's probably Valley Forge. The Australians, Galliopoli. The sad thing about it is (and I'm going out on a limb here), I would guess that the average Canadian knows nothing about it. Never seem to see it mentioned.
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    100% correct no one knows about it

    but i like what there doing to celebrate it appartently they are going with 1 kid for each casualty wearing dogtags and medals trying to send a relative of a casualty so I have been given to understand. I guess I'll find out Sunday.

    Some of the more interesting points of the battle it was the first real scientific and successful attempts of counter battery fire. One of the 1st battles were every man knew where he was supposed to be at what time . The men did not go over the top in line but rather as platoons using the old forgotten strategy of moving and shooting to counter strong points
     
  5. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Pb well done Canada. Your Vimy Ridge. Our Menin Gate and Menin Road Ypres and Albert. I have a lot of respect for our Canadian Allies. Well done in restoring those monuments at Vimy Ridge. I have 3 words for you Pb


    LEST WE FORGET
     
  6. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    I find that comment sad, ill-informed and quite frankly insulting to the massive sacrifice of the UK, 'other Empire', and French troops in WW1

    World War I casualties - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia may help you get a true perspective of the sacrifices by the Allies.

    Not to decry the efforts sacrifices of the Empire troops but you might spare a thought for the 1,000,000 UK and 1,700,000 French dead. More Indians died in WW1 than either Canadians or Australians!

    It's not 'Your Vimy Ridge' or 'Our Menin Gate' anymore than it's 'Your Gallipoli' - it's THEIRS' - ie the Empire dead.

    More books and less films perhaps?


    Lest we forget (them all!)
     
  7. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    It is not an insult to the average soldier but it is a barb directed at your High Command who for the most part were rigid in there thinking
     
  8. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    Arthur Currie was very clever

    The whole battle was a succes, because of the refining of the creeping barrage, more independance given to lower ranks
     
  9. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    True what was it the Germans said, "Lions led by Donkeys"
     
  10. Negative Creep

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    I always thought that was a British expression?
     
  11. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I believe you are right NC I stand corrected it looks like it may be attributed to Sir Walter Pipon Braithwaite
     
  12. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    Actually the expression 'lions led by donkeys' has never been accurately sourced - most probably used in relation to Italian troops pre-WW1.
    It was the title for a highly subjective and very inaccurate book on WW1 by the late Alan Clark - maybe that's confusing you.

    I don't wish to decry the Empire effort (as I said!) and it's still recognised appreciated here but you guys all need to do more research (I really don't want to drive a wedge between former allies / current commonwealth members but you're being disengenous at best):

    "The Allied commanders decided to launch another assault in 1917. The duty was given to the still relatively fresh, but previously successful, Canadians. For the first time, all four divisions of the Canadian Corps were brought together. They were joined by the British 5th Infantry Division (in corps reserve), and British artillery, engineer and labour units, bringing the Canadian Corps to a strength of about 170,000 all ranks, of whom 97,184 were Canadians"

    From Battle of Vimy Ridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So only 57% of the Canadian corps was actually Canadian!

    @ 102, 1stH - you acknowledge, then, that the creeping barrage was fundamental to the sucess - who's artillery?

    Currie was an excellent general but at Vimy the Canadian Corps was actually under the command of Byng (a Brit!!) who allowed him the room to flourish and must take a lot of the credit. This fact is often overlooked by many.

    Currie only commanded 1st Canadian Div at Vimy so was only in charge of a part of the whole operation.

    Hindsight may be 20:20 but it doesn't make good history!

    WW1 was an Empire effort (supporting our French allies) and using (or ignoring) the sacrifices of all the troops who fought in common cause to score points is disrespectful to them all.

    To be fair it was an Australian I was actually challenging - the received wisdom of WW1 in Oz is slightly twisted and doesn't match up to historical scrutiny. It's understandable given the general anti-Pom feeling there but I can't let incorrect / misleading statements pass uncommented.
     
  13. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    'fraid not - it was inaccurate and pointed: he cant spell Menin and claims it as 'our' (ie our's) when in fact it commemorates Commonwealth dead with no known graves who died in Flanders before 15/08/17. So not only is he wrong but writing out of history British, Indian, and other Commonwealth (including Canadian!) dead.

    He also claims Albert as 'our's' when it was the scene of heroic sacrifice by many commonwealth troops (twice) - mainly Brits.

    How would you feel if I claimed Vimy Ridge as a British victory based on the 43% of the Canadian Corps being Brits, most of the Canadians being in fact British-born, and the overall commander being British??

    You'd be unhappy - but I would never be so disrespectful

    My points above are to emphasise that it was an Empire / Commonwealth effort, sacrifice and ultimate victory
     
  14. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    In reality the artillery might have had a preponderence of Brits but it was Andrew McNaughton who pioneered counter battery fire , made the artillery calibrate each piece (a rather new doctrine ) the pointy end of the stick and the ones that took the ridge were Canadians. Yes Byng was a Brit who flourished working with the Canadians but he was also open to ideas something Haig could never claim
     
  15. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Well Rog you find what I said insulting. it wasn't meant to be but me paying tribute to our gallant Canadian Allies. If you find that insulting than there is nothing I can say or do. However having said that Rog I have made no reference to French or British Troops killed during WW1 because this thread was began to inform us of the Canadians at Vimy Ridge. And as for your reference about Gallipoli it was the turning point for Australia and New Zealand to be recognised as nations during WW1. Due also to the fact The Gallipoli Campaign was an absolute failure planned and executed by inept British and French Generals and decided by the First Sea Lord Winston Churchill. You woinder why Australians have a poor opinion of British generalship after Australian and New Zealand Troops had witnessed debacle after debacle of missed opportunities bad leadership personal squabbles betweeh Higher Command. And Haig wasteful tactics and inept abilitiy and continued usage of men against barbed wire and machine guns. And you wonder why Australians and New Zealanders continued that poor view into WW2 of British High Command. It was by no means directed at the average Tommy or Airman or Sailor but at British High Command piss poor attitude during both World Wars. No matter how you want to view it Rog British High Command during all of World War 1 and parts of World War 2 was inadequate badly managed more concerned about personal reputations and bad leadership to the extreme it cost men their lives. If British High Command had decided to command instead of personal infighting and personal reputations more men would have been spared than the wasteful tactics that are apparent in WW1.

    As I said my tributes were directed at our Gallant Canadian Allies at Vimy Ridge. Rog if you had read more into that than was expressed then its your problem not mine. As for insulting comments. You had began those yourself with some what disparging remarks about Canadians and Australians during WW1. I do know of the Indian losses during WW1 but I know of the British regard for Indian Troops during WW1 and WW2 and it wasn't expectantly high. But that isn't so surprising as British High Command didn't have any such high expectations of any Colonial Troops as they referred to them whether they be Canadians Australians South Africans or New Zealanders etc etc. It appears from your comments that you mirror said opinions from British High Command Rog. Get use to the idea Rog the Empire has gone
     
  16. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    New ideas such as the tank - perhaps?

    I'm never going to claim Haig was perfect (who was?) but his achievements during the war have been subject a lot of mis-informed criticism.
    For example he gets blamed for the Somme when his major error in that regard was in only making suggestions to Rawlinson and not ordering him to change the battle plan as suggested.

    Recently his talents and achievements in adapting to the new form of warfare, overseeing the massive expansion of the Army and fighting off Lloyd-George have begun to be recognised.

    No obvious and credible replacement was available then and few have been suggested since.

    Let's not turn this into a fight amongst friends - I was responding to inaccurate and pointed comments by someone else.

    To that end I'll pass on your observation on Byng.
     
  17. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    @ Emac44

    Read what I wrote again.

    I call them Empire troops because that's what they were at the time. The term colonials is also historically accurate. No-one would use such terms in a modern context as they're not accurate but in this context they're correct appropriate. I never said 'colonials' but it seems to have irked you anyway.

    I think you have some issues to get over.

    As for Gallipoli I never said it was ideally-planned or good generalship but was commenting on your use of 'our' whereas (as you no doubt know) the majority of troop losses were among the Brits and French. Again a point you failed to make and sought to ignore.

    'Disparaging remarks'? Where? I'd love for you to point them out to me!

    As for British / Indian realations that's irrelevant - my point was to contrast their losses with yours - I took out the bit 'that they don't keep banging on about it' but, maybe, should have left it in!

    As for Haig's tactical abilities again you're no-doubt aware of the sophistication of tactics and the all-arms-battle application of armour, air, artillery and infantry employed by the allies in '18. To develop such tactics from the BEF doctrine just 4 years before shows (in my opinion) remarakable flexibility and tactical awareness.

    I'm sure you have examples of many, many Australians who could have done a better job - again I'd love to hear them.
     
  18. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    I made no such disparging remarks about the British French Indian or other Commonwealth Troops during WW1. However you quoted me Rog from your first posting and I say again I made no disparging remarks about the British French or other Empire or Commonwealth Troops. I was paying tribute to our Allies the Canadians in recognising the efforts of Canadians at Vimy Ridge and about time they repaired the Memorial to those men at Vimy Ridge. If it had been an New Zealand or South Africans British Scots Welsh or even India I would have said the same. My tribute goes to the men whom lost their lives at Vimy Ridge regardless of Nationality. My tribute also goes to the Nation of Canadia in recognising the bravery and the sacrifice of Canadians during a bloody wasteful war such as World War 1 and that the Canadian Govt recognises this in repairing the War Memorials for the Canadians. I suggest next time Rog do not read more into it than what you thought was being said. It was an innocent statement by me not an arrogant or ignorant statement. Just me giving thanks to Canadians who are our Allies

    I will leave this be as it appears you read more into it then it was meant to be and I am not going to argue or debate on a mistake from a misreading of what I was trying to say in my posting. I have NO ISSUES TO GET OVER AS YOU THINK ROG. But you seem to think I do.

    But I do have a problem when some one like yourself tries to make issues over nothing that can be construed as offensive to any one. Seems the issues are your own Rog for reading more into it than was apparent
     
  19. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Yes there are 2 Australian Generals who were far better than some champagne sippers then British had. Monash and Blamey. As for Tank development took the British nearly 3 years to decide best use of Tanks in the mean time Battle of Cambria was thrown away from the lack of foresight of the British in the use of tanks

    As for blaming Rawlinson, I might remind you Haig was the GOC and it was his responsibility to oversee all areas his subordinates were doing and had done. And it was Haig who had overall command. So Haig has to bare responsibilty for the debacles on the Somme and not after 90 years others trying to take the blame onto Rawlinson and spare Haig.

    And once again I remind you that the Gallipoli Campaign is seen as the emergence of Australian and New Zealanders in battle and the legend of these troops that came from Gallipoli. And at no means is this a reflection on British Indian or French Troops. Which was badly led for example at Suvla where the British having come ashore instead of advancing as they should have were ordered to sit and make tea. Where as Australians and New Zealanders were ordered to a full blown attack against the Nek and Chanuck Bair to act as a diversion for the Suvla Attack. Same attack by the Australians and New Zealanders could have been better achieved by diversions fients and artillery bombardments instead of the sheer bloody murder that was ordered from British High Command. And Wilson had explained that to British High Command and was ignored

    Your disparging remarks I would say more to the case of sneering remarks towards Australians for some unknown reason of your own. And which I am reading as such. And how can anyone except some one with an axe to grind find what I said to the Canadians in this forum offensive

    Do not try and buy of the blunders of British High Command during WW1 by trying to equate the BEF had good generalship. It simply didn't. There were British Generals who had qualities of Brilliance but these were far out weighed by the inept generals of High Command like Haig and Rawlinson for example. And if such advancements as Aerial Armoured and Infantry Tactics were so bloody brilliant as you are claiming in 4 years of WAR. Then why were they not used more effectively. Cambria is one particular set battle where tanks were used and the advantage by said armour was thrown away by inept planning by British High Command. One British general that showed some brains was Plumer but the likes of him were few and far between

    As for the term Colonial Troops. that is extremely accurate as the British had thought that even when countries like Australia or New Zealand having gained independance (1901 Australia 1907 New Zealand). That both these countries were still considered Colonies or Colonial etc. And that these same men whom had come from those 2 countries were nothing more than COLONIALS and our Military was seen as such. Haig was reported as saying he didn't have faith in Australian Troops in battle and that our behind the line discipline was poor. He had at one time question Rupert Murdoch on the reinstatement of the death penalty for Australian Troops. Murdoch replied that no Australian Government would give any British Military power or Military Court the decission for the death penalty over Australian Troops etc. As the term Empire Troops came into practise something that came more apparent after the WAR not during by British High Command.

    But you know what really irked me was your comments as I am reading them. You seem to forget that Australians New Zealanders and Canadians preformed brilliantly during WW1 and also WW2 and that in March 1918 that Australians New Zealanders and Canadians held 30% of the British Line during that month in March around Albert and stopped the German Advance cold. Until further British reinforcements were ferried up to bolster the line and reinforce against further attacks by the Germans.

    You found my remarks insulting. Too bad. I find you whole attitude to be priggish narrow minded and some one who wants to find fault in just a comment I made to the Canadians in repairing a War Memorial for their fallen soldiers from WW1 a bit bizzare and totally uncalled for. But I have an issue now. You ****ing annoyed me when you got on your high horse and started having your snit session.

    And before you go off again in your high horse Rog. When I referred to the Canadians as YOUR VIMY RIDGE. I meant that as Battle Field Honours of the Canadians. As OUR BATTLE HONOURS for the ANZACs who served at Ypres etc. Before getting easily insulted next time ask what is meant before getting your panties in a bloody twist and going around accusing others of showing no respect. Maybe thats a word you need to spell. RESPECT as you showed me none.
     
  20. Maharg

    Maharg Member

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    I have a book called 'The Donkeys' by Alan Clark, its about 1915 - Neuve Chapelle, 2nd Ypres and Loos, during which the core of Britain's regular army was all but destroyed.
    On the first page there is a quote from Falkenhayn's Memoirs: Ludendorff said, "The English fight like lions". To which his colleague Hoffman rejoined, "But don't we know they are led by donkeys".
     
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