World War I historical thread

Discussion in 'Military History' started by POKL, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. POKL
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    POKL New Member

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    Unless I missed something there is no thread devoted to the World War One, so I will start one. For starters something I think of being appropriate to commemorate the centennial of the ‘Great War’.

    THE VOICE OF THE GUNS by Gilbert Frankau (1916)

    We are the guns, and your masters! Saw ye our flashes?
    Heard ye the scream of our shells in the night, and the shuddering crashes?
    Saw ye our work by the roadside, the shrouded things lying,
    Moaning to God that He made them - the maimed and the dying?
    Husbands or sons,
    Fathers or lovers, we break them. We are the guns!

    We are the guns and ye serve us. Dare ye grow weary,
    Steadfast at night-time, at noon-time; or waking, when dawn winds blow dreary
    Over the fields and the flats and the reeds of the barrier-water,
    To wait on the hour of our choosing, the minute decided for slaughter?
    Swift, the clock runs;
    Yea, to the ultimate second. Stand to your guns!

    We are the guns, and we need you; here, in the timbered
    Pits that are screened by the crest, and the copse where at dusk ye unlimbered;
    Pits that one found us - and, finding, gave life (Did he flinch from the giving?);
    Laboured by moonlight when wraith of the dead brooded yet o'er the living;
    Ere, with the sun's
    Rising, the sorrowful spirit abandoned its guns.

    Who but the guns shall avenge him? Battery - Action!
    Load us and lay to the centremost hair of the dial's refraction;
    Set your quick hands to our levers to compass the sped soul's assoiling;
    Brace your taut limbs to the shock when the thrust of the barrel recoiling
    Deafens and stuns!
    Vengeance is ours for our servants: trust ye the guns!

    Least of our bond-slaves or greatest, grudge ye the burden?
    Hard, is this service of ours which has only our service for guerdon:
    Grow the limbs lax, and unsteady the hands, which aforetime we trusted;
    Dominant ones,
    Are we not tried serfs and proven - true to our guns?

    Ye are the guns! Are we worthy? Shall not these speak for us,
    Out of the wood where the tree-trunks are slashed with the vain bolts that seek for us,
    Thunder of batteries firing in unison, swish of shell flighting,
    Hissing that rushes to silence and breaks to the thud of alighting;
    Death that outruns
    Horseman and foot? Are we justified? Answer, O guns!

    Yea! by your works are ye justified -- toil unrelievéd;
    Manifold labours, co-ordinate each to the sending achievéd;
    Discipline, not of the feet but the soul, unremitting, unfeignéd;
    Tortures unholy by flame and by maiming, known, faced, and distainéd;
    Courage that shuns
    Only foolhardiness; even by these, are ye worthy your guns.

    Wherefore, - and unto ye only - power hath been given;
    Yea! beyond man, over men, over desolate cities and riven;
    Yea! beyond space, over earth and the seas and the sky's high dominions;
    Yea! beyond time, over Hell and the fiends and the Death-Angel's pinions.
    Vigilant ones,
    Loose them, and shatter, and spare not. We are the guns!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iec7Xoos6JA
     
  2. Jura
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    Jura Senior Member

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    hey POKL how have you been? still involved in music? :)
     
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  3. POKL
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    POKL New Member

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    I am doing fine, thank you. A you can see beside music I am not a stranger to poetry. I must say it will have to take some time for me to get accustomed to the way the forum is now …
     
  4. Jura
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    Jura Senior Member

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    Do you think I can post here about German-Japanese fights in Tsingtao (China now) or it's forbidden because of colonialism? also about the German Cruisers Squadron there and its journey through the Pacific?
     
  5. POKL
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    POKL New Member

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    Forbidden because of colonialism!? Are you kidding me? Both topics are worthy of discussion but I have to log out – still some work to do.

    PS

    On a different note, I know it sounds very naïve but I am not a computer buff, in fact this device is basically a typewriter for me. So now instead of PM somebody we can ‘start a conversation’ on the profile page?
     
  6. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head Super Moderator
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    Jura, there is no rule against this.

    It was an operation that was a part of World War I. This siege was against the German port of Tsingtao by Japan and the UK and lasted from the 1st naval operations on October 17th until the end of fighting on November 7th and the British-Japanese occupation of the port on October 16th, 1914.

    It was the 1st encounter during the war between Japan and Germany and also the first joint British-Japanese operation of the war.

    As long as people do not interject politics and ideology, there is no problem with it.
     
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  7. POKL
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    POKL New Member

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    I have started a thread and than “orphaned” it which makes me feel sort of guilty. To make up for the rarity of my posts I will try to compensate at least a little by quality. The link below is to the excellent BBC series about the “Great War”. It is not flawless and some subjects are better dealt with in other documentaries but my assessment is that no better film or series dealing with the entire World War One were made anywhere since.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwn22WhrrUFMg65XgPicFBfYgHj7Xpcdn
     
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  8. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head Super Moderator
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    POKL, thanks for this thread. It has been an over sight and this thread can make up for that.

    Second, to all posters.

    SD is not about politics, past grievances, ideology, etc., etc. No matter who the author is. There are very few exceptions to this rule.

    It simply always leads to arguments, chest thumping, nationalism, high emotion...and ultimately warnings, suspensions, threads being closed, and banning.

    let's not even start down that path.

    DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MODERATION
     
  9. POKL
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    POKL New Member

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    Regarding the series I have linked above. Programs such as these make one appreciate the truly amazing ability to record and thus capture for ever people, their images, voices, recollections and so much more for ever.

    The people of World War One are removed from us about as much as they themselves were removed from the Napoleonic Wars. The last literally and figuratively speaking ‘earthshaking’ event before WW I. Yet they are much closer to us than the Napoleonic generation could ever be to them thanks to the ability to film and record.

    Von Moltke, one of the important men of his times whose voice was recorded shortly after the technology to do that was developed said ():

    Diese neueste Erfindung des Herrn Edison ist in der Tat staunenswert. Der Phonograph ermöglicht, dass ein Mann, der schon lange im Grabe ruht, noch einmal seine Stimme erhebt und die Gegenwart begrüßt.

    The newest invention of Mr Edison is indeed worth to be astounded. The phonograph facilitates that, a man who already long rests in the grave raises his voice once again and greets the present.

    One could hardly put it better. This is also exactly what the people shown in the Great War series do.

    The photography was developed between 1820 - 30 and by the time of the Crimean War reached maturity so that we have first pictures of that war and was already developed well enough to leave a considerable photographic recording of the American Civil War. Next came voice recording and filming. As far as I know US president Theodore Roosevelt was the first men of significance whose not only voice but also speeches and thus political thought were recorded (by means of wax cylinders - digitalised by now – what counts being that thanks to technology we could and can actually hear him). Frankly speaking I do not know which event or person of importance was first to be extensively filmed but in any case by the time of World War One the practice to film significant happenings was already well established.

    Today thanks to internet and such as You tube we can see and hear past events, see and hear the people who took part in them, for example as shown in the Great War series, literally by clicking a few keyboard buttons – when one reflects upon it is truly amazing and is a great gift technology has given our and future generations.
     
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