Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Rembrandt, Nov 30, 2006.
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Are we playing "gues the war?"
Well as we are all still here in little old Great Britain, I'd say that we did smashingly well in every war that we have fought.
We could all be speaking German now dont you know.
But yes a bit of context would help.
They usually go on about 17th-19th century stuff, e.g. Napoleon - however, reference to 'conscription' relates WWI and II? In which case the premise "constantly humbled" is pants.
-Got an Era we can frame this statement around? Being that it's kind of Vague.........
'Kind of vauge'
That effing Vauge even I have no idea what he's talking about.
Mind you I will say that many times a Brit Army has started off poorly but then cum through to do the Biz.
I recognise the phrase from somewhere; isn't it one of Max Hastings' utterances?
Well the only battle I can think of that the British Army has done fairly crap in is the battle for better pay and conditions, still doesn't explain his reference to conscription though.
This can only be the Great War. And viewed from the fashionable Guardian-reading 'stop-there's-got-to-be-a-more-negative-way-of-discussing-this' standpoint.
Tons of paper has been wasted on this line of thought, usually by people with 20/20 hindsight.
Thats statement holds if you look at the opening stages of WW2. Dumped out of France, with a panic evacuation turned into a gloriuos achievement for morale purposes. (I am n ot knocking what was achieved at Dunkirk or the efforts of the people involved)
Not really dpcw. The BEF of 1940 was highly trained (but poorly equipped) and contained no conscripts that I can think of. The let down was caused by the capitulation of the Belgians and the collapse of the French. What can you do when you suddenly find both flanks in the air? Anyway, the statement addresses the whole war so does not hold true. Unless you read the Guardian that is.
The lack of equipment and collapse of supporting nations meant that "Compared to other wars, the British Army fared poorly, and was constantly humbled by enemy actions."
No mention of the performance of the soldiers themselves, the usual tale of excellent soldiers making do with poor or inadequate equipment.
oops, the Guardian bit should have read 'one' not 'you' â it wasn't aimed at you dpcw.
In spite of losing at Arras, Hazebrouck, Comines, Cassel etc I still don't think we were 'humbled'. Even the boxheads didn't think that and said so in their radio broadcasts. Armoured divisions that were meant to slice through lightly armed infantry battalions in a matter of hours were being fairly consistently delayed by them for two or three days at a time. But whichever way you view the Battle of France, the statement still isn't justified when you consider the whole war...which it does.
Looks like one of those polls you get on other military history forums: "what was the best WW2 army?". Results invariably put the Brits near the bottom and the Germans at the top. German-worshippers seem to forget that they started with all the aces - then lost...
All those who point to UK's trail of defeat 1939-42, plus the fairly poor tactical success afterwards, seem to miss a major point: the Germans and Japanese had each spent about ten years training and indoctrinating a generation of 8-10 year olds into being those stormtroopers of 1939/41. UK, on the other hand, had been in its eternal position of defence poverty and clusterfcuk preparation - but the poor old Toms held on and held on through all the bad years, until weapons procurement and training had caught up and they were able field a victorious army. Methinks such dogged strength in the face of overwhelming adversity means the British army has never really had anything to be ashamed of.
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