Historical conflicts

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by RAF889, Jul 8, 2013.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. What is your most pivotal British conflict, war, battle or action? Tobruk, Somme, Charge of the Light Brigade, Trafalgar, Battle of Britain, Isandlwana (?) and why?
  2. Charge of the Light Brigade for me. I saw the film as a young fella, then read up on it. In my little collection of military medals I have one Crimea medal to a Scots Guard.

    The battle highlighted faults that still took many years to correct, if they have ever been fully eradicated?? Tennyson immortalised these fellas for all time.

    Crimea survivors.jpg

    James Olley 13th Lt Dragoons 2nd right
  3. Alamein?

    "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat."
    Winston Churchill
  4. The First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) - Western Front WWI.

    WWI on the Western Front, and what I reckon is to measure the 1st AIF’s contribution to the huge mincing machine that was the primordial morass of the Western Front, and effectively setting up the future Australian Army. (One that I am proud to serve.)

    Gallipoli overshadows the achievements and the suffering of the Australians in France and Belgium; they do not rank with those at Gallipoli in our national story. Fromelles and Pozieres and Bullecourt, Hamel and Mont St Quentin are so unfairly ignored. Gallipoli was, after all, a defeat, while Mont St Quentin in August 1918 was possibly the most brilliant victory of the war.

    Australians were for the first time confronting the main enemy on the main battleground,and that in 1918 they played a major role in the actions that brought the war to an end. With the Canadians and the Kiwis, they were the best fighting soldiers on the Western Front, which was why they were used at the sharp end.

    The first time was at Fromelles where the AIF 5th Division, fresh to France, was ordered into action by the inept British general known as "Butcher" Haking,and Australians suffered the worst 24 hours in our history. On the night of July 19, 1916 there were 5533 casualties with more than 2000 dead in less than 24 hours. Fromelles has been lost in the wider tragedy of Pozieres and the Somme in 1916, and the tragedy of the first battle of Bullecourt in 1917 was forgotten altogether.

    Here, the 1st AIF played its biggest role on the world stage, one it has not eclipsed since.Australians were central in the blunting of the final German offensive - from Villers-Bretonneux around Anzac Day 1918 - through Hamel to our most glorious feat of arms at Mont St Quentin. At Hamel, where tanks, aircraft, artillery,Australians (and some Americans) in 93 minutes of action that in the words of the premier of France, Georges Clemenceau, "astonished the whole continent".
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Battle of Plassey, not many people have even heard of it these days, pivotal battle which confirmed British hegemony in India.
    Just over 3000 British and John company troops defeated a force supposedly numbering 60,000.
  6. Pivotal but also the last time a British, (Empire) Army was commanded in the field by a British Commander.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. What about Slims 14th Army?
  8. That's easy, English Civil War. That and having France as a neighbour might have shaped our history.
  9. Of I see, we are at the "What's your fave slaughter" end of the schoolyard now! I'll swap you Rourkes Drift for two Ronaldo stickers!

    My Fave wasn't a British effort at all, we were busy at home, and it wasn't a battle, or even one war, it was a sucession of wars now known as the thirty years war. It reduced the population of large swaithes of central europe, in some areas two thirds of the civilian population died and it saw the return of cannibalism to Europe. I'll swap you that for three Martin Chivers PG tea cards!
  10. Saratoga.

    It was the turning point in the American Revolutionary War.

    It lost us our first empire on the mainland USA and forced the country to look elsewhere for a second one - India etc.

    It taught the British Army how the fight in other than compressed line and was the nursery of most of our senior commanders in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars - Sir John Moore was an ensign in a petty British victory right at the end - read 'The Fort' by Bernard Cornwell.

    The French experience was a direct and important contributor to their own revolution and so our successes against them.
  11. During the German offensive into France May 1940, the bosch had smashed through northern France leaving the BEF and much of the better bits of the froggie army in Belgium. A desperate British counter attack consisting of only a couple of infantry battalions (Durham Light Infantry) and 2 regiments of the Royal Tank Regt, near Arras, although beaten back scared Hitler and his top brass enough to halt further advances for a couple of days while they waited for infantry to catch up. Thus enabling the RN to evacuate the army. Rommel was a divisional commander in the area at the time of the attack, he wrote a report of hundreds of British and French tanks attacking his formations. In reality less than 100 allied tanks were involved, many of the British matilda tanks were only armed with machine guns.
    Although a defeat it's consequences allowed many thousands of British troops to fall back unhindered on Dunkirk and then evacuation to blighty.

  12. and it started with the Defenestration of Prague...1618 . basicly chucking someone out of a window to kill them, only they landed in a pile of horseshit so it didnt work.
  13. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Emsdorff (later Emsdorf)

    The victory was largely won by the well handled British 15th Light Dragoons who suffered heavily with 125 of the 186 Allied casualties. Lieutenant Colonel William Erskine of the 15th Dragoons presented King George III with 16 colours captured by his regiment after the battle.

    The Battle of Emsdorf was also the first ever Battle Honour awarded. Earlier battles were then given the status of a Battle Honour.
  14. Like some earlier posters my vote goes for Alamein. Churchill's Mansion House speech here http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1942/421110b.html gives an insight into the significance seen at the time for the battle as a pivotal moment. With the benefit of hindsight in his History of the Second World War Churchill tempered his view slightly when he said "It may almost be said that before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat." But that does not detract from the battle's significance as the pivotal moment in the most significant war in British history.
  15. Really no idea where you get this from, as has already been pointed out 14th. Army in Burma, not to mention 21st. Army Group Normandy. 8th. Army in Italy is another.

    As to the wittering of Beagleboy about the AIF, one really does have to give up on the idea that this thread may have any historical significance!