As everybody knows, the year 2014 represents the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the euphemistically named “War to End All Wars” and the horrors, especially of trench warfare on the Western Front, which dominated and defined the confrontation between the Germans on one side and the Entente Cordiale of the French, Belgians and British (and commonwealth and colonial forces) across the blood soaked Flanders fields. Here, modern technology, the machine gun and quick-firing guns, met the ancient technology of war: infantry battles, sieges, cavalry charges… Here, in those terrible places: Somme, Verdun, Paeschendaele, Ypres… insane carnage took place.

Somehow, those someones who had blundered back in the Crimea days, and who had involved themselves in the Balkan wars and those nastinesses in South Africa, never got the message: “Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim gun, and they have not.” Better translated, don’t send infantry into mined emplacements protected by

This article appeared in 188 on June 2014. Buy here

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