Friday, November 09, 2007

Passchendaele Nomember 1917

One word.

Ninety years ago Today young men stood and died in the pouring rain in the fields of Flanders, defending the freedom of others against tryanny.

In hindsight the tactics and weapons appear crude. The reality is that the likes of Currie, Plume and Haig did everything they could to preserve the lives of their men.
The used the very best weaponry and tactics available. Airborne reconnaissance for the artillery - and the creeping barrage just about viable in the murk. Ground too wet for tanks meant that the armoured advances at Cambrai could not happen. Truth be told, the guns of the day were not accurate enough to coordinate with tanks and aircraft - as was seen at the Somme Canals in 1918 anyway.

The last gasp of the battle took place form the 6th to the 10th of November with Canadian troops attempting to hold a line against determined German counter attacks.

But what for? The Guardianistas of then and now sneer at the loss of life, and view the world through rose tinted spectacles. What was being fought over? As usual, the drawing rooms of Islington provide scant learning for the realities of warfare, then as now - especially as the legal eagles who make up the kleptocracy who run the show demonstrate when they fail to appreciate the men they send overseas.

Ypres was the gateway to Belgium - and the Salient was there to keep the ports open. Lose the hub at Ypres, it is a short march to Oostende and Zeebruge - effectively closing supply routes from the East of England to the front lines.

This was known by the generals and the men at the time.

Armies must be supplied - and supplied with the best. Unrestricted Submarine warfare and heavy mining by the remnants of the Kaiser's fleet meant any route to the whole of the western front had to be kept open, on land and sea. Flanders was about defending the northern flank, and keeping the arteries open. Attack is always the best form of defence - and the three battles which ended in the Passchendaele were as vital and as dynamic as 'Market-Garden', 'Goodwood' and 'Dynamo'.

The men who fought did so with the courage and determination and bloody minded professionalism of the Men who scrabbled for a beach head at Omaha, who cleared trenches - by hand - at Wireless Ridge or today - in Helmland province.
They stood their ground as did their forefathers at Rorke's drift or in at Quartre Bas - a place not so very far from the Ypres Salient.

And Brown dares to even speak of their courage?

It churns my stomach to see that thieving, mendacious, idiot of a coward even talking of the bravery of these men and then cutting their supplies today.

It is the nobility of those who stand on parade and honour the fallen in the name of our freedoms - in front of their Sovereign - which will stop them booing Brown.

He is not fit to hold the wreath, let alone lay it.

To my readers, remember: on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh month, the guns fell silent.

Stand silent and stop - for their name liveth for ever more.

Wear your poppy with pride, chaps.

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