Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by fairy_nuff, Apr 14, 2013.
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This was on facebook
Inside the tunnels at Vimy Ridge - YouTube
Video has been deleted for copyright infringements.
dont know if its the same one
One of my "must visit" plces of the Western front. A remarkable underground story, a magnificant feat by the Muddy Engineers!
By the way, love the way the guide insists the four Canadian Divisions fought under Canadian leadership. They didn't, Julian Byng was an Englishman (7th son of the Earl of Strafford) and a 10th Hussars man!
Agreed. Vimy is well worth repeat visits.
Although I understand why the focus there is so very specific, it does get under my skin a little that the presentations at the Canadian Memorial disregard the rest of the events of 9th April 1917, they don't even place the assault at Vimy in the context of the complete picture.
On one visit I made with someone who knew little about Vimy and nothing about the Battle of Arras, he came away believing that it was an isolated action.
Slightly off topic, I recall reading recently about someone who tried tunneling into a Roman town. It may even have been Rome itself. Trouble was, the Romans sussed it and opened the top of the tunnel somehow. The first thing they threw down there was a few bears. Then a load of bees in their hives.
**** THAT for a game of soldiers.
Appian's Roman History: The Mithridatic Wars
Yeah. Here we go.
If you get to Vimy, go to the town hall in Arras and go up the spire then down to the 'Boves', the mediaeval tunnels under the town that were joined to the sewers to provide covered ways to the front line for the 1917 Arras battles. there's also a new tunnel on the Somme but it may not be open yet.
Have a gander here for the Somme:
La Boisselle Study Group
top posting, I am going back to arras later this year with my elderly father, hes never seen the family names on the memorial, the tunnels are a must for me
I have seen the Giants of Arras though
Sadly a lot of revisionism has crept into the talks of the guides at both Vimy and Beaumont Hamel, that which you have pointed out, also the claim that the CEF loathed the SMLE, while displaying a some what rusty Ross Rifle with a nasty bend in the barrel (the Ross was rather well liked as a sniper rifle, but was no longer in general use as of 1917). The best one though was the claim that most of the regiments from the Province of Quebec were made up of conscripts.
I used to take the guide off to the side after the tour and point out the facts, but it was not well received.
We were there during the recent half term and OH was the very same! The guide was a lovely Canadian History student so at least she had some appreciation of the grander scale of the battle, however OH was only itching to get in and argue a few of the military points such as the 'rolling barrage' etc. Fortunately she took it in good spirits and pointed out cheerfully that my family name occupies (very 'popular' Irish surname) a whole section of the memorial on its own.
In relation to the museum at Arras, wasn't hugely impressed with it and less so with the grumpy and uncooperative French staff. The museum in Peronne is far better and excellent for placing the entire conflict in context.
On a tunnel related matter, I recently took my family around the air raid tunnel complex on Brunnerstrasse in Berlin. An excellent 90 minutes and a generally good commentary - although I did have to correct him when he pointed out that US bombs were larger and more effective than RAF ones. RAF aircraft on average dropped twice the tonnage of, on average greater GP ordnance. Failue rate was c 5 % where as US bombs had a failure rate approaching 10%, but, to be fair, where delviered with greater accuracy in daylight. Albeit a moot point when you are in an air raid shelter with on 80 cm of overhead cover...
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