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Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

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Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:26 am

One hundred years on it is the talking point of the moment. The following article from which the title of this thread is taken

Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

purports to tell us things that we did not know or assumptions that we made that were wrong.

The one that I particularly find hard to take was

'Lions led by donkeys' "Naturally, some generals were not up to the job, but others were brilliant, "
Whilst I am not old enough to have fought in either war I had a lot of relations (mainly great uncles) who fought in WW1. My Great Uncle Alex Grant won an MC. He was a major and he charged a machine gun post with his pistol and one grenade and amazingly was not killed in the attempt and only slightly wounded. His explanation was that the alternative was to shoot his own men for cowardice. This was, apparently, not uncommon. The men could recognise a suicide command when they heard one and, according to him, were unsurprisingly reluctant.

I found this article unfortunate in its tone. It seems to gloss over the horrors of war that the ordinary soldier faced. That is not quite what I wanted to say so I went away and had some breakfast and thought about it. Trivialise is the term I am looking for. This article somewhat trivialises the whole issue.

By the way it comments how many boys from Eton were killed. Just goes to show that its standards must be dropping nowadays


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Re: Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 am

"The Great War" as they called WW1 at the time did not kill only Etonians, and I have always thought that the terrible loss of life was the beginning of a (continuing) decline in Britain's fortunes. As well as the skilled workers and tradesmen who volunteered, the cream of British youth was skimmed in the trenches, and the stuffing had been knocked out of many who returned.
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Re: Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:08 am

It does come across a bit "Hey, the First World War wasn't all that bad".
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Re: Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

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