WW1 tunnels Messines ridge.

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Readie, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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  2. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Can't access from the colonies. :) but I am familiar with the story ....... chalk and miners .....

    MM
     
  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Can't see it here either, but if you're interested John check out this movie from a few years back, it does a fairly good job at recreating one of these underground battles.
    Beneath Hill 60 (2010) - IMDb
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'll check that out.
    It was an example of the well coordinated assaults that were possible by this time.General Plumer might have looked like the sort of Victorian soldier associated with the "lions led by donkeys" myth which persists to this day but he was anything but.

    Stick 450 tons of explosives under the enemy positions to blow them to b#ggery,lay down an accurate and well timed artillery barrage and then launch an assault in force with three Army Corps.Crucially exploit initial success with subsequent attacks with reserve Divisions again supported by artillery and even a few of those new fangled tanks.There was even an early effort at what we would call Close Air Support.

    1.British X Corps commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir T Morland
    2.British IX Corps commanded by Lieutenant-General A Hamilton-Gordon
    3.II Anzac Corps commanded by Lieutenant-General A Godley

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    It was a measure of the indusrialisation of the war that both sides had issue standard heavy tunnel linings available from stores. I have seen the British steel ones so it was interesting to see the wooden German ones of equal strength.

    It was even more fascinating to see how the archeologist diggers were faced with the same mud and water problems as the soldiers were.

    Having seen comparable British trenches I can see how the differing welfare approaches of the two armies were reflected in the trench architecture. The British relied on rotating troops in and out of the line at frequent intervals while the Germans tried to make the trenches more comfortable and kept them in there longer; hence the deeper trenches, concrete bunkers and extensive drainage systems. Helped by being that vital bit higher so they could drain the water away. Quite possibly towards the British.

    I heartily recommend Gordon Corrigan's book 'Mud, Blood and Poppycock' for a rational examination of the British army in Flanders in which my grandfather served from November 1914 through to the end of the war. He saw it all from French Cuirassiers in shining steel breast plates and horse hair plumes with French infantry in bright red trousers and dark blue jackets all the way to tanks and close air support.
     
  6. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'll have a look.
    cheers
    John
     
  7. TheMustangRider

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    #7 TheMustangRider, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    I had the chance to watch 'Beneath Hill 60' a couple of weeks ago and I highly recommend it for those (me included) not familiar with tunel warfare during WWI.
    It's eye-opening and gives a new perspective as how miserable was for both factions to fight in the Western Front.
     
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