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View Full Version : "Timewatch" Last day of WW1 prog



Penny Gallo
01-11-2008, 9:19 PM
Broadcast this evening 1st Nov 2008. It was presented by Michael Palin, and concerned with the huge number of men killed or maimed on the morning of the Armistice. General Pershing apparently insisted that his men fight right up to the last second, and many men were wounded or killed. French soldiers killed on that day have 10th November on their gravestones, perhaps because of problems with pensions for widows and perhaps because of the government not wanting to explain why the generals were still sending men into battle (Michael Palin tried to present this in a balanced way).

We are accustomed to seeing photos of trenches and fighting, but Michael Palin's researchers had turned up some of the horrifying photos of men who were maimed, eg one man whose face was blown off - his lips, cheeks, nose. He had early reconstructive surgery but the end result suggests that the poor man led a tragic existence after the war.

Palin pointed out that whilst we hear a lot about the glorious dead, there's not much about those who survived very much changed. I suppose we can't bear to think of sacrifice unless it is cleanly heroic.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/timewatch/

Lesley Robertson
02-11-2008, 9:47 AM
Broadcast this evening 1st Nov 2008. It was presented by Michael Palin, and concerned with the huge number of men killed or maimed on the morning of the Armistice. General Pershing apparently insisted that his men fight right up to the last second, and many men were wounded or killed. French soldiers killed on that day have 10th November on their gravestones, perhaps because of problems with pensions for widows and perhaps because of the government not wanting to explain why the generals were still sending men into battle (Michael Palin tried to present this in a balanced way).

We are accustomed to seeing photos of trenches and fighting, but Michael Palin's researchers had turned up some of the horrifying photos of men who were maimed, eg one man whose face was blown off - his lips, cheeks, nose. He had early reconstructive surgery but the end result suggests that the poor man led a tragic existence after the war.

Palin pointed out that whilst we hear a lot about the glorious dead, there's not much about those who survived very much changed. I suppose we can't bear to think of sacrifice unless it is cleanly heroic.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/timewatch/


The bit that shocked me was the number of commanders who knwlingly sent their men to fight when they knew that the war had only hours, or minutes, to run.
Lesley

Ladkyis
02-11-2008, 10:25 AM
It was General Pershing who said they should not have a cease fire but should carry on for a surrender otherwise the Germans would not know they had lost and then everyone would have to go through the same thing again. While it seems a terrible thing for him to have said, he was right and it happened in the gulf war too. General Schwarzkopf wanted to carry on and get to Bagdad, find Saddam and finish the job but the Saudi and Kuwaiti governments had achieved their objective to get the Iraqis out of Kuwait and they wanted the western allies off their land. Then a couple of years later the American government have a good excuse to talk up WoMD and get another pop.
My son is out of the army now but will be liable to call-up for the next twelve years if the brown stuff and the whirley thing look like connecting.

My grandmother's brother died in 1914 in a big battle and my husband's grandfather served in the glorious Glosters

Peter Goodey
02-11-2008, 11:57 AM
<snipped for brevity>


Very debatable. But I don't think this is the place to debate it.

Lesley Robertson
02-11-2008, 5:02 PM
It was General Pershing who said they should not have a cease fire but should carry on for a surrender otherwise the Germans would not know they had lost and then everyone would have to go through the same thing again.

No, it was the trivial reasons I was talking about - like the General who wanted to take a town because it had bath houses....

Lesley